I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. (Romans 8:18)
One of the questions I get asked most by people who question the existence of God is “Why would God let people suffer?”
I can’t profess to know exactly why God lets suffering to occur, but I look upon my own life and others I know and I can see answers to this question.
Someone I know is a very good therapist helping others with their drug and alcohol addictions. How did he get to the point where he is helping so many others with the suffering of their addictions? He suffered greatly with his own addictions in his past. His life was devoted to getting high on drugs. God was nowhere in this man’s life. One day he had a stroke due to overdosing on cocaine. It was determined in the emergency room he had a very slim chance of living. He did live and suffered greatly with the after effects of the stroke. It was during this time of suffering that he found God, became clean and sober, and decided to do God’s work by helping others with their addictions.
It is when we suffer that we tend to listen to God. We seem to pay attention during times of suffering and it is during times of suffering that we change our lives, grow from our pain, and are forced on a different path in life.
It is only through suffering that we learn the lessons we were meant to come here to learn. It is only through suffering that we can grow as human beings, and it is only through pain and suffering that our love for God can grow. Suffering refines us and forces us to look at what is really important in life. It takes us down different paths in life. It allows us to grow closer to God through the faith that the suffering is needed for own good.
I think about who I am today. And I think about the times of pain and the times of suffering I have had in my life. When I look back now at those times in my past, I realize that I am only the person I am the today as a result of the pain of those times in my life. I am wiser. I am aware of what are the most important things in life. I am able to help others at a much greater capacity. I see how those times were moments when my life was redirected by God. A path of greater understanding of myself and the world.
My greatest accomplishments came as a result of my pain and suffering. When I read about people who have accomplished great things, there is always a great time of suffering and pain that propelled that by which they contributed great works of art or changed the world in some way.
Suffering seems to be necessary part of life and part of being human. We would never grow or advance in any way if we never suffered. We learn by making mistakes. Mistakes often lead to suffering. Suffering leads to growth.
As that famous truth about exercise so wonderfully sums up life, “no pain, no gain”.