“Whenever anything disagreeable or displeasing happens to you, remember Christ crucified and be silent.” ~ John of the Cross
I am the best . (Just fill in the blank.)
We strive to be the best. That is a hard-coded part of our human nature. We always strive to be labeled the best of something. We try to be the best ball player, the best actor, the best academician. Whatever it is, it has got to be the best.
We often even bring that into our suffering. “No one suffers like I suffer.” Our pain, our depression, our angst is deeper than anyone else’s. Why? Because our human nature says it has to be. If someone is better than us, even in our suffering, something is wrong.
However, if we want to know what suffering is all about, we do not need to look in the mirror. We need to cast a glance upon a crucifix. Talk about suffering, that was true suffering. None of us will ever come close to understanding the pain and anguish of Jesus Christ. The pain was not only physical — and it was absolutely brutal. No, the pain was not merely the flesh torn from His body or the nails piercing His hands and feet. The pain was also our sins heaped upon Him. He bore the penalty of our sins so that we could have a chance for eternal life with Him.
That is true, redemptive suffering.
Too often, we fail to reflect upon that reality. The season of Lent is given to us to remind us of what Jesus endured for our sake. He went through everything that He did out of tremendous love for us. The next time we feel that we are in pain, that we are suffering inordinately, we merely need to to reflect upon what true pain and anguish is all about. Look at the crucifix.
FAITH ACTION: If you are having problems, are in pain, or suffer from some malady, do your best to offer it up to God who knows more about pain than any of us and ask Him to help you through your suffering.