Merriam-Webster dictionary defines suffering as “to submit to or be forced to endure”, also to “undergo, or experience,” and “to put up with especially as inevitable or unavoidable.” One thing is for certain, everyone “undergoes” or “experience” suffering. Hard times have a way to finds us no matter our marital status, gender, color, nationality, height, weight, social and financial status, political party affiliation, religious belief, and the list goes on…Bottom line is, everyone suffers! People’s response to suffering varies, with some going off the deep end, lashing at the world for the unfairness of life, while others look for joy in every bleak situation. You know the typical story of siblings born in poverty, and from abusive parents. One becomes a criminal while the other becomes a hero. Both grow up in the same dire circumstances, and yet each deals with their suffering in different ways.
I must admit, grief and pain are no fun. I wonder if you have ever paused to reflect on how you are responding to your current season of suffering. Let me suggest something to you; Why don’t you observe your response to grief, pain, and dissapointment as well as that of others near you over the course of the next few days? Perhaps you can journal your observations and then reflect on your findings.
I am just curious as to what this little experiment will reveal about how you deal with suffering; how you make others feel, and how others make you feel during this season of your life. I’ll leave you with a quote from my newly released book Chasing Life: Lessons on Suffering Well.
There are those who, when faced with pain and sorrow, run away and set out a welcoming mat for death to come and take them. However, there are those who face pain and suffering with dignity, and, releasing their anxiety and fears to God almighty, they encounter a peace that passes all understanding. The impact of the latter can very well be the motivation needed, so that when the storms of life come, they will be able to “walk on water,” no matter how terrified they are to step out of the boat.Excerpt from Chasing Life: Lessons on Suffering Well