On Suffering 

We all have a cross to carry. We are each given sufferings to bear. We all have a part in God’s plan that is tailored to our particular circumstances and our sufferings. Now, this is not to say that God causes our suffering, or wills it in any way. God allows our suffering as a natural consequence to Original Sin.

But,  He does use our suffering.  He uses our particular suffering for a specific cause. This is what I turn to when I start to lament that life is unfair.  It’s not fair that I am trying to love God, and to live a good life (whatever that means), but am faced with obstacles that many others I know are not  (college debt, the need to be a dual-income family, my largely unfulfilling career, the fact that I want a large family but it would not be prudent, being unable to buy a house in my neighborhood– these ones have been weighing on me especially heavily of late).

But, “God never gives you more than you can handle”, or so the saying goes. It’s a sweet sentiment. But, it’s not true. If it were, people all over the world wouldn’t be starving to death, or homeless. People right here in our own backyard. That statement treads dangerously close to the Gospel of Prosperity. Sometimes you do get more than you can handle. I am not a theologian, but I will posit a theory anyway. Sometimes you do get more than you can handle. But, I don’t think that is necessarily from God, I think it is just a consequence to living in the world.

But, what He does do is use that suffering; and, even more beautifully, He gives us the Grace to work in cooperation with him to use our suffering for good. And, it is in that, where He allows us to rise above our suffering. To transcend it.

It’s hard. It’s hard because I want God’s blessing, I want Grace. But I don’t want to carry my cross. I want to receive my reward on earth. And, that is just not how it works.

This is something to work on,  and to pray on.


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