I've been studying 'suffering' lately.
In the scheme of things it seems ridiculous to consider anything about my life 'suffering' (to endure hardship or suffer loss).
But the truth is, there are times I feel so defeated.
I'm not talking about the panic that sets in when I hear the school bus drive up at 3:35 and I haven't accomplished half of what I intended ;-)
I'm talking about the sense of isolation, momentary reality that seems eternal, loss of perspective, fear. The times when I'm hanging on by a thread because I'm relying on my own strength.
When I really ponder suffering it reminds me of the unthinkable: the loss of a child or spouse, a terminal diagnosis. You know, those kinds of things.
Usually, when I have these momentary lapses of perspective (can you say pity party?), I am reminded of those who truly suffer. Those who have no voice. The ones who truly are alone. Those who suffer silently. With no relief. No hope. Those who cry silent tears. The ones whose hearts are literally broken. Day after day they wait for a shred of hope.
I'm speaking of not only the orphan...the widow, but of the neighbor. The friend. The parent. The student. The pastor. The teacher. The ones we overlook in our busy-ness. We think they
should have it all together.
What 'suffering' have I endured so that I might extend hope to another?
How can God use my 'sufferings' for His glory?
I'm not a martyr, but does my demeanor give the impression that I think I am? (Oh, I hope not!) Where is the joy?
When I've accepted defeat and lost joy, I've lost sight of Who God is.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4