I sometimes struggle with the pain and suffering in the world. I understand that man created this condition by disobedience, but on a daily basis, it feels like undue punishment.
However, a glass-half-full view of heartache is the inexplicable joy, knowledge, and understanding that it has the potential to bring.
As empathic beings, we can imagine what it feels like to carry someone’s burdens, but unless we experience those burdens first-hand, we can’t fully appreciate the weight.
It is only by carrying the weight of our own burdens that we can experience life-changing growth.
Most of us would probably wish for a perfect life, but a perfect life would be difficult to appreciate. Without burdens, we become complacent with our blessings. We start to expect the goodness. We stop appreciating.
One simple example is my migration to Florida from the Northeast. When my husband and I (and fur baby) first moved to the Sunshine State, I commented, almost on a daily basis, that it was obvious how my new state had gotten its nickname. I relished the sunshine and beautiful winter weather, treasuring my outdoor “office”.
After several months of near constant sunshine, a few random cloudy days irked me. “Where the heck is the sun?” I asked my husband. The unusual dreariness made me realize I’d stopped appreciating the sunshine.
Gradual complacency led to me taking the beautiful gift of sunshine for granted. The clouds restored my appreciation of the sunshine.
A more dramatic example is taking our good health for granted.
I’m living proof of a common cliché – that getting cancer was one of the biggest blessings of my life.
My breast cancer diagnosis stopped my charmed life in its tracks. But like so many others, my post-cancer journey has been an amazing path I’d have never otherwise taken. There’s something about facing the grim reaper that renews appreciation of the frailty of life and motivates us to make the most of our brief journey on earth.
The valleys of life help us appreciate the peaks.
Without the valleys, the views from the peaks gradually lose their awesomeness.
We can usually find a blessing in pain. Not that we can see it while we’re still in the fire of suffering, but that fire has the potential to lead to gifts that we cannot imagine.
In your times of suffering, remind yourself that God’s plan is perfect. While we cannot understand the difficult paths we face, God is in control and His end result will normally exceed our expectations.
Have you found beauty in heartache? Tell me how in the comments below.