Suffering is not something we usually sign up for willingly. In fact, we tend to avoid it at all cost. And certainly there’s wisdom in minimizing the unnecessary pain and suffering in our life. But there’s also necessary suffering that we cannot avoid if we want to experience God’s best.
To be sure, many times we suffer due to our own poor choices – the natural consequences of sin and foolish decisions.
And as we grow and mature, we work to eliminate as much of this unnecessary heartache and pain as we can – learning both from our own mistakes and that of others as well. There’s no need to fall into every ditch if we can learn from the choices others have made.
But some suffering is unavoidable.
For instance, a child must endure falling down many times as he learns to walk. And a parent cannot save him from this suffering. It’s necessary in order to learn how to balance and navigate life on his own two feet.
And a soldier must also endure the suffering of basic training in order to be fit for duty. He becomes a danger to himself and others when he’s just given a pass and not put to the test.
And even Jesus learned obedience from the things he suffered. He humbled himself and endured the cross in obedience to God and so that we might enjoy life together forever with him.
Likewise, we must also submit to the necessary suffering needed in order to grow in maturity and be fit for service in God’s kingdom.
Perhaps this is suffering through tough conversations in order to bring more life into our relationships. Or maybe God is teaching us patience and kindness as we endure the many sins and shortcomings of others and learn to love as he loves.
In the end, this suffering is still suffering. But we trust God is using it to prepare us for greater glory.
Don’t suffer foolishly. But humbly submit to the necessary suffering needed to become all God has created you to be.
Photo by Gadiel Lazcano on Unsplash