Friends and Suffering

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My eldest son reminded me tonight; I am almost a half-century-old, thanks for that!! What a Pal. He and our youngest son are in the bedroom playing Nintendo and as I am listening to them enjoy life; it made me reflect on how fortunate I am. I have learned so many things through the 49 years I have been on this earth. The list is too long to recount but the top of the list, at least tonight is how important friends are, I do not know why that popped into my head tonight but it did. The other thing is pain, I know that is an odd combo but both took up residence in my head tonight. 

Most of us have had a significant amount of pain in our life. It is just a part of life. For some it is the physical pain of illness or injury, then there is emotional pain like when a loved one is sick or suffering and that can be worse than any physical pain we have encountered.. 

How about the torturous mental anguish of betrayal by a trusted friend, spouse or family member this too can seem unbearable. The loss of love can bring us to the edge of despair. Remember the stories from our youth about the nails in Jesus’ hands; it was not the nails but the love for you and I that held him there. It was God’s love for US that empowered Jesus to suffer unimaginable horror for us. 

Jesus experienced all types of pain. He was physically assaulted and tortured. He sees his mother weeping at the foot of the cross. He is rejected and turned on by his closest friends. He is humiliated. He even feels the pain of separated from the love of God. Jesus endures every type of suffering imaginable, for you and I. 

When I get a headache, I tend to do two things. I complain or I beg for relief, all I want it to do is go away. Jesus did none of these things. He accepted suffering without complaint and he never begs for it to go away. 

As I reflect tonight on the life of Christ and then think about my own minor suffering, that “suffering” seems so trivial compared to what Jesus endured I know our pain is real, I know the loss we just endured is real, I understand that pain can be part of life and it really hurts. But when I pray for God’s mercy to overpower me and I look to the cross, I can hear a voice in my soul saying it will all be fine. 

The good news is that the Gospel is the end of the pain and it is the beginning of our new life.

Those of us who are suffering today must pray that Christ marks for us “that” new beginning. Let us rejoice that our wounds and our pain today are nothing compared to that future blessing, so wondrous that we cannot even imagine yet

Uncle Tone.

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