I was watching a friend of mine talk last night about the years of her life. She mentioned one and I said “That’s the year I was born.” She had to thank me for making her feel old. It certainly wasn’t my intent. I thought about it today and wondered if she had said that was a hard year of her life or not. I couldn’t remember. I thought though how odd it would be if it was for the reasons I shall discuss in this blog.
First off, let me say something about this person. This person informed me recently she is a secret reader type of this blog. I was surprised, but it makes sense. I think this person is quite the angel. When I see her, I see a purity in her that I don’t see in a lot of people and I think she genuinely cares about people and has an interest in them. I have a deep respect for her. I want her to know that.
I thought though that what if it was a bad year? Well, it could have been a bad year for her at the time, but is it overall? After all, it was the year I was born and she obviously enjoys my blogs and if I hadn’t had been born, then she wouldn’t have been able to enjoy the blogs. A time of suffering eventually produced a time of joy.
I thought about that also with other times. I have a great friend who is probably the person I trust most on this Earth now who has helped me overcome so much. We were chatting one night about something and I relayed something from my experience and said “Maybe you’re the same way.” Lo and behold, it seems I was right.
What has that led to? My awesome friend got some healing from my suffering. I consider that the same situation happening. The suffering that we consider so bad is that which will be redeemed. The pain can be used on this Earth often to bring restoration to those whose path we come across.
I then thought about that. I don’t like what I’m going through a lot of times, but I had to consider. Would I go through it if I knew God would use it for good? Of course. Yet that is what he promises. In Romans 8, he says all things will work for good. Not all things are good. He doesn’t say that. He says they’ll work for good.
I remember going through a time of anxiety and depression in my life. Now when I meet people who struggle in that area, I can help them a lot more. I look at where I am in life now. I don’t care for my job honestly. I think I can do much more. Yet I considered, maybe someday I’ll be teaching another promising student in apologetics in the same situation and be able to say “Hey. I was there once too. Hang in there!”
C.S. Lewis has said most friendships begin with someone saying “What? You too? I thought I was the only one!” I wonder how many times our experiences of pain help heal others the same way. It seems the worst suffering one can undergo in life is easier when you know one other person is there.
I wonder when we get to Heaven and we see the scars other people had that I believe God will use to show his glory in redemption, how many others will look at us and say the same thing? “What? You too? I thought I was the only one!” Maybe that suffering we hid because we thought it was unique to us was really going on in several others.
I am a firm believer that Heaven will redeem any pain we have had here and any time spent in suffering. If we take the time and consider that, can we not see how our suffering in the long run if we are Christians will one day be our glory?
And if I am right about Heaven, then maybe we should be more willing to begin it here. It could be a lot of our suffering isn’t as bad as we think it is.