Faithfulness · Poetry · Whispers of Faith

When You Thought Suffering Would Look Different

suffering

I thought it would look different –

This suffering.

I thought I’d be ready.

I thought I’d embrace it piously.

 

But no –

It came unexpectedly,

Cutting into my world

With talons of fear and confusion.

 

This suffering

Didn’t bring a jail cell

Or a physical attack

Or a sudden hurricane.

 

But it still brought

Loss, tears, separation,

Anxiety, grief,

And loneliness.

 

It brought

Loss of control

Such as I’ve never felt,

And uncertainty

Such as I’ve never known.

 

And Peter says,

“For to this

You have been called.”

Yes, you.

 

Why?

“Because Christ

Also suffered for you,

Leaving you an example.”

 

Christ –

His sufferings were far worse.

Deeper. To the death.

For me. And you.

 

So that when we

Are called to suffer –

We can endure it –

Because His life gives hope.

 

Peter tells us

“Don’t be surprised.”

Instead – rejoice.

“Rejoice that you

Share in His sufferings.”

 

Rejoice?

 

It seems insensitive

To tell a grieving

And suffering world

To rejoice.

 

And yet.

We suffer for a reason.

To make us His

Image-bearers.

 

To bring hope

In the midst of loss.

To bring comfort

In the midst of grief.

 

When we

“entrust our souls

To a faithful Creator

While doing good,”

 

We are acknowledging

Who holds

All our days

In His hands.

 

We are seeing

The pain and brokenness

And we are

Walking into it with faith.

 

Faith in the Almighty –

Faith in His power,

Faith in His promises of eternity,

Faith in His healing.

 

This suffering –

Oh, how it hurts.

How it aches

Down to our very bones.

 

But how it points us

Back to our need

For the Redeemer

Who can heal the deepest ache.

 

This suffering

Won’t last forever.

 

But the hope and faith

Forged in the midst of it

Most certainly will.

 

May it burn brighter

Through the darkest of nights.

 

Photo by Alexander Montes on Unsplash.

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