The proof of God’s love for us is not the blessing of power, wealth and happiness in this life. That would suggest that what we can convince God that we deserve lives free from suffering, hardship and loss. This thinking leads us to believe that when we experience suffering we are witnessing a failure of God or proof of no God. For the disciple of Jesus, the student of the Word, suffering thrusts us into the waiting arms of a loving God with our need and dependence for something or someone one larger than our own abilities. The gift that we are given is a sense of hope that God has the final say on our lives and it is one of complete restoration.
Suffering happens, but it exists for any number of reasons. None of which are random and not all experiences are punishments. We learn during suffering that we are not alone, we are never forsaken, and God is often carrying us, but we are not always aware of this in the moment.
Jesus words for this come at the end of the book of Matthew in the New Testament of the Christian scripture:
And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.
If you are suffering my prayer is that God’s holy presence of love will shatter your darkness and restore you to life!