Thursday, February 17, 2011

Suffering and Hidden Blessings

Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. John 12:24

It is difficult to understand the mystery of pain and suffering in the world. Ultimately, the root of suffering is found in sin, in separation from God. Still, God uses suffering to call us into the peace of his presence. If God could not use pain and suffering for our good, then he would not allow such things to remain in the world.

The grain of wheat must lie in the dark womb of the earth before it can be called forth into the open air by the light and the warmth of the sun. Then it grows into a healthy plant and bears fruit.

Rain and windstorms wreak destruction, but they also cleanse the land of pests and disease.

In the same way, the wind of the Spirit shakes us with its power, but its force brings spiritual health and blessings.

Just as an earthquake can cause sweet springs to erupt in the desert making the land lush and fruitful, suffering can disrupt our lives and expose in our hearts springs of life-giving water. Then refreshing streams of thankfulness and joy flow where before there was complaining and grumbling.

When a sweet branch is grafted onto a bitter tree, both feel the knife and both suffer. But only in this way can the bitter tree bear sweet fruit. God himself suffered pain in order to introduce good into our evil nature. In this we see God’s great love and in turn faithfully suffer the agonies of this world. We can then bear good fruit forever.

1 comment:

  1. People are always asking how a loving God can allow tragedy in our lives. This puts it beautifully. Thank you.