What I've Learned About Suffering


It’s been a long journey, hasn’t it? 

We embarked on the exploration of suffering on May 1, and I can hardly believe it lasted a month. Who knew the unsuspecting discovery of a poem would lead to such an intensive journey for us here? I hope it has been helpful for you.

As I mentioned yesterday, I know this month-long series has fallen far short of examining all there is to be found and learned about human suffering. I am still contemplating a personal writing exercise where I type out all that I want to say and explore about this subject — all that couldn’t fit on those pink plastic tasting spoons in this space each day — just for my own benefit.

Just to see what I see. 

In the meantime, I want to share a realization I’ve bumped up against over and over again throughout this journey: 

The turns in the suffering have so much to do with Jesus. 

At least for me, this has been true.

Every turn in my own experiences of suffering can be traced, like a single trail of red yarn, directly back to Jesus. What he taught me about myself. Ways he helped me see a bigger picture. Truths he helped me learn in place of lies. Love he showed to me in places of pain. 

So much of human suffering creates a monumental court case against God. How could he let these things happen? How could a good God permit so much pain? Did God make this happen, or just allow it? Why would he let that be? 

I have certainly been there. I’ve wrestled with the problem of pain and God’s responsibility in it a lot the last few years. Sometimes it feels like I bear a particular burden about these things, as I’ve chronicled a bit in another of my online spaces. 

But one thing I’ve noticed, at least for myself, is this:

Any healing and wholeness and strength I’ve ever found has come directly from Jesus. 

Whatever God’s role in the world’s suffering is, I know at least one thing to be true: Jesus heals me in my suffering

What have you learned about suffering?