Does suffering ever make sense?
I have never really suffered….. I have never been imprisoned for my faith, or been submitted to physical torture. I have never been called upon to watch my children tortured and put to death in my presence. My brothers and sisters in Christ in other countries of the world have suffered much. Elizabeth Elliot says that if we think about suffering, there is only one “place” that suffering really makes sense. It is at the foot of the cross….! Suffering there had a purpose; it had meaning. Jesus suffered there for the purpose of providing salvation for every person who ever lived. Every sinful soul can be redeemed from the penalty of their sin. Jesus suffered for us, dying in our place….and paid for our sin.
When I think I have suffered because of the loss of a loved one, loss of meaning in life, loss of security, or what ever it is that I think is causing my suffering…if I take that to the foot of the cross of Jesus Christ, lay it there, and look up….I only see suffering like no other. My “suffering” pales in comparison to the depth and magnitude of the suffering that He knew there in my place for me. It puts my suffering in perspective. It shows me that He understands, He knows, and He feels all that I am feeling, and more.
Christ’s suffering had a purpose. Can I trust the same God to make sense out of my suffering? I do not have to understand what He is doing to trust Him. I only have to understand Calvary.
My prayer is this:
Lord, may I continually, consciously…. take all sorrow and grief to the foot of the cross…which is the only place where suffering makes sense. At that moment, each memory, thought, feeling, hurt… offered up to Christ there, becomes an opportunity to be a recipient of Your grace…all sufficient…and You become enough….You are enough (“El-Shaddia”…the all sufficient One). By Your grace….You are enough.