Many years ago, someone close to me was involved in a serious car accident. It changed her life dramatically as she suffered a closed-head injury as well as other serious injuries. It was a long and unfortunately incomplete recovery.
At some point in her healing, she was lamenting with a friend and asked, “Why would God put me through this?” He responded, “Maybe this isn’t about you.” She digested the thought awhile and then put it aside. About five years later, she and her husband gave birth to a sweet baby girl. After the first few months, it was clear that this sweet little girl suffered from some pretty serious cognitive delays. And it all clicked. Her own accident, emotional suffering and physical pain, doctor appointments and rehab sessions—they were in preparation for things to come once she became a parent.
Sometimes we are asked to endure trials, or as Saint Paul in today’s reading (2 Corinthians 1:1-7) calls them “afflictions,” so that we may be able to encourage those who are experiencing affliction as well.
It is very difficult to have empathy if we lack experience. Even if we love someone deeply, it is impossible to walk the path of grief for example, if we have never experienced grief. We can sympathize, but we cannot empathize. We can witness and listen, but we lack a level of understanding.
Jesus, fully Man and fully Divine, experienced great suffering, and He understands in a supernatural way the depth of suffering we experience. As you share in the sufferings of this world, may you also share in the encouragement and hope that endures through all. It is impossible to have foresight regarding our own growth through the struggle, but if you are in a dark moment now, remain hopeful and be encouraged.
May Christ’s sufferings and encouragement both overflow to you.Remain hopeful. // @maryruthhackett Click To Tweet
Thank you for being here.
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