I preached on Suffering Well last Sunday. I later heard that upon hearing my sermon theme, my daughter whispered in my wife’s ear, “Wow, ‘Suffering Well‘ – – Happy Mother’s Day!”
Suffering is indeed part of the joy of Christian Discipleship. It is, as Luther said, a way we grow – along with the Scriptures and Prayer. One essential for that growth to take place, is saying to the Lord with an open heart:
“What do you have for me in this (present suffering?)”
“Help me to see not only the END of my suffering, but the ‘END’ for which this suffering may be USED in my life.
Simone Weil wrote, “The extreme greatness of Christianity lies in the fact that it does not seek a supernatural remedy for suffering, but a supernatural use for it.” (Gravity and Grace)
Scott Cairns, closes his small and beautiful book, The End of Suffering: Finding Purpose in Pain, with this quote and a poignant benediction:
“May our afflictions be few, but may we learn not to squander them.”