When you look back to times in your life, do you only remember the good times? The joy of your youth? Your glory days of high school or the fun you had at college?
Sometimes when I think back to those times of my life, I don't remember the suffering.
I don't remember the homesickness, the pain that the voices of others caused to my heart, the hours of work I put into projects that ultimately didn't succeed and the accompanying disappointment.
These painful memories do arise on occasion, oftentimes when I'm suffering from new pains. But these sufferings come as I'm celebrating the birthday of my child, while I share in the marking of accomplishments with friends, or while I watch my garden spring to life.
I suffer while seeing the goodness of God. I suffer while experiencing His blessing and goodness. It's strange how closely intertwined joy and suffering can be, entwined not only in my heart in the present moment, but both pain and joy entwined as we remember our past and look towards the future.
Both the writer of the book of Ecclesiastes and Jesus in today's Gospel (see Luke 9:43b-45) remind us to remember suffering.
Ecclesiastes throbs with the reality that life is quickly fleeting, that joy should be savored because suffering is unavoidable.
Jesus reminds His disciples that He would face suffering unto death. His joy of being with His disciples came with knowing He would soon suffer.
It's the mystery of the Christian life that we live with both joy and suffering together, not only for a moment or a time, but for the entirety of our lives, just as Christ lived His life.
It's the mystery of the Christian life that we live with both joy and suffering together, not only for a moment or a time, but for the entirety of our lives, just as Christ lived His life. // Christy IsingerClick to tweet