Monday, September 24, 2012
Regardless of whether it’s merited or not, whether a consequence of a conscious choice or a turn of an unfriendly card, suffering is part of our fallen human nature. There’s no escaping it in this life. We may try to fight it and we may not admit it, but ultimately, we all serve, we all sacrifice, and we all suffer.
There are questions we need to ask ourselves in the face of suffering: What do we do with it? What is our attitude towards it? Like tempering steel, it can be a source of great strength and growth if we let it. If it becomes more than merely something to endure or plow through, we (or someone else) may merit from it.
Even with God’s grace and the dignity brought about through endurance, sometimes the meaning of suffering can only be discerned by looking at it through the lens of time. “Misfortunes” may become blessings with the proper perspective. In Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl wrote: “... suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning, such as the meaning of sacrifice.”