When Suffering Became a Gift

suffering

Ah, here we are in 2015 and I can happily announce that I am delighted to enter a new year. Although I grew significantly in my spiritual life and relationship with God, I am relieved to have this “fresh start.” For some reason, when the clock strikes 12am on New Year’s Day, we immediately feel liberated to take on new challenges and we become excited for what’s to come. To be frank, I’d like to wake up with that feeling every single day.

I’ve learned a lot about suffering and all those questions that flood your mind when you’re enduring your own painful trials. I’ve learned a lot about God and my faith. And I’ve learned a lot about marriage.

I was reminded of the story of Abraham and Job in the Bible. Abraham grew impatient, but eventually God delivered on His promise and blessed him and Sarah with a son, Isaac. Job lost everything. Time went on for both but Abraham’s faith grew stronger and Job’s faith was never shaken. There was a time last year when I thought I would crumble into a million pieces and my life would become irreparable.That’s when it dawned on me:

Suffering is a gift.

Of course, if you told me that during the torrential rainfall, I would have spat at that idea and concluded that God enjoys watching me weep. It wasn’t until I was sweetly reminded of God’s truth, by my dear mother. Fools mock wisdom, but the wise embrace it. I finally chose to embrace it, reluctantly knowing deep within that it was true and I had fallen into Satan’s lies and schemes once more. Satan wanted me to believe I was suffering for no reason, that my prayers were never heard and that God had no interest in saving me because of my past mistakes. Satan likes to pull strings at whatever weakness we have.

That’s when I learned that my faith was not as strong as I had thought. When Satan can easily bring me down to his level, almost effortlessly through a trial which was meant to bring spiritual growth. Sure, God didn’t cause what happened, but He was bound and determined to use the opportunity to show me a new way and draw me closer than ever before. And then, suddenly and unexpectedly, the suffering became a gift. A gift wrapped in a plastic bag but smelling of sweet serenity. I just had to open it and not try to dispose of it like garbage just from what it looked like.

Rejecting suffering won’t keep it from coming. Begging God to make it stop won’t either. At least, not right away. He wasn’t about to let me take the detour around these troubles, He was ready to face them with me HEAD ON. Thinking back, I wish I had embraced that concept sooner. It would have saved me much heartache and depression.

Every day brings new challenges but it doesn’t have to steer us opposite where God is leading.

No matter what we face, God can use it and continue to mold us in His Hands.

I have regrets last year of how I handled those challenges and how I felt like God had betrayed me. But I’ve stepped into a new faith, a stronger faith, and a firm belief that I am His servant. I won’t (always or right away) know why things happen, but I know that He can use it, He can use me, and He can birth blessing out of turmoil. Hold on, dear one. He’s not finished with us yet ;).

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