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Suffer? Me? Why?

"We accept good things from God; and should we not accept evil? (Job 2:10)

It is an inevitable truth that in this life everyone will suffer. Nobody is immune from this reality.  But what can we do when faced with suffering?  How can we continue living life when we are suffering?  Why do some people thrive while suffering and others fall apart?  How do we reconcile the notion of a benevolent, loving God with a God that allows suffering.

I like this quote from the book of Job: (couldn't find citation, sorry) " On the day of prosperity do not forget affliction, and on the day of affliction do not forget prosperity."

The Lord is teaching us all through Job that we need to develop a balanced mindset when it comes to suffering.  Does this mean that we should always be gloomy and on the lookout for something bad to happen?  No, the Lord wants us to celebrate the good things of this world.  Celebrating life is a foreshadowing of heaven; we need joy in order to comprehend heaven. Should we live only for pleasures, denying or ignoring ours or other's sufferings?  No, of course not. If we did this we would be delusional.  The Lord gives us the "bad" in order to train our minds to focus on the heavenly "good".  Without the bad, we would also not be able to comprehend heaven - because there would be no desire for something better.   St. Gregory writes about this eloquently as he states,

"...For if a man receives God's gifts, but forgets his affliction, he can fall through excessive joy.  On the other hand, when a man is bruised by the scourges, but is not at all consoled by the thought of the blessings he has been fortunate to receive, he is completely cast down." 

It has to be about more than just this 75 to 85 year span on this earth.  There's got to be more out there than the 900 months that we rent life-space in some town on this planet.  I know for myself that if all of life were limited to my earthly existence then I would be very depressed. I need something that transcends that. I need to believe in a heaven in order to make sense of the limits of this life. Yet many people unfortunately do not live this way, they suffer without a heavenly perspective.   How are they able to suffer?  What keeps them going while they are suffering?  It must be empty, scary, and hopeless.

Thankfully, the truth is much brighter.  God is controlling this thing and has wonderful relief in store for his children .  Check out this promise from 2 Corinthians 4:17  " For this momentary light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, because we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal." 

Besides, when you really get right down to it, we are a bunch of stressballs that worry needlessly about the horror we anticipate.  Usually the projection is worse than the reality.   "Man suffers most from the suffering he fears, but never appears, therefore he suffers more than God meant him to suffer"
-Dutch proverb


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