I was recently watching an episode of “The Chosen” and was struck by the dialogue of Jesus with the apostle “James – the Lesser”, who is depicted as having a disability. James is asking for a healing and Jesus does not heal him. It’s pretty intense….. it was a straight forward, non flowery, even blunt back & forth. The “net-net” is that following Jesus is not easy… not everything works out right away… it involves suffering… you don’t always get your way, at least on this side of the veil.
I have to say that I was a bit taken back by the conversation. I thought the music would get intense and there would be this wonderful moment of healing and James would dance around…. but that’s not how it ended.
It reminded me of the reality of following Jesus. There is always the BIG PICTURE of God’s will which only gets fully accomplished in light of eternity. After all these years of following the Lord, I can still be surprised when things don’t go as planned… when the person doesn’t get healed… when the prayer doesn’t get answered in the timeframe I expected…. when suffering is still present. Peter reminded us of this 2,000 years ago when he said, “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal which comes upon you to prove you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice in so far as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.” (1Peter 4:12-13)
In today’s mass readings for the feast day of Timothy and Titus, Paul reminds Timothy of this same truth….” bear your share of hardship for the Gospel with the strength that comes from God.” (2Tim.1:1-8) Hardship and suffering is part of our life on this earth. Each day brings another dose. Yet we don’t suffer like those who have no hope. Our suffering is temporary and will end when we are home with God.
The Psalms are filled with God’s tender care for his suffering servants. “Why are you cast down, my soul, why groan within me? Hope in God; I will praise him still, my savior and my God.” (Ps. 43:3-5) We can’t allow our soul to become cast down in the midst of our suffering…. we must hope in God and praise him still. One day we will see how the Lord worked each bit of suffering for good.
In the meantime, grumbling and complaining about our lot in life will not help. God doesn’t think much of “whining”; it doesn’t compel the Lord to act in our favor. This is serious business. God is expecting his servants to “step up to the plate” and to do his will. He gives us the grace and the joy and satisfaction to be able to do it.
So Lord help us to fall into your arms, trusting that your way is always best. By your grace, we can do this, and it will bring us wonderful joy and peace and consolation. And that is very good news.
4 thoughts on ““It’s Not Easy””
Thanks for the reminder; I needed it this morning.
We are reminded in the rosary of the 7 sorrows that our Blessed Mother, born without original sin, suffered more than anyone. She surely kept surrendering to her Father in Heaven for help. When I turn to Jesus with my suffering and give it to Him for the benefit of others, I get relief. Jesus wants us to offer it to him to redeem✝️
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Thanks Dad – a good reminder 🤗🤗
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