Now if we are children, then we are heirs–heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in His sufferings in order that we may also share in His glory – Romans 8:17
Like many other Christians, my parents thought that if they honored God and dedicated their children to the Lord, they’d somehow be shielded from pain, suffering, and life’s difficult realities. Learning that their son—my brother Jerry—was dying of AIDS helped them to see that this belief was false.
My parents wrestled not only with losing Jerry but also with their own feelings of guilt. They wondered what they could’ve done differently to keep their son from a homosexual lifestyle. Sorrow and regret consumed them.
Yet God used that terrible incident to mold and deepen my parents’ faith. Suffering brought them face-to-face with change they’d never anticipated. It was in that dark and painful crucible that my parents learned about compassion, courage, forgiveness, and repentance. Their hearts were truly broken, but they were also truly changed.
You, too, can and should learn from suffering. Don’t be angered by it. Don’t come out the other side a bitter person. Look at your suffering as an intimacy with Christ—a time to sense his love and compassion, and to grow to trust Him and grow closer to Him.
– Steve Arterburn
“Complete success alienates a man from his fellows, but suffering makes kinsmen of us all.” – Elbert Hubbard
“We must learn to regard people less in the light of what they do or omit to do, and more in the light of what they suffer.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer
“There is a light in this world, a healing spirit more powerful than any darkness we may encounter. We sometimes lose sight of this force when there is suffering, too much pain. Then suddenly, the spirit will emerge through the lives of ordinary people who hear a call and answer in extraordinary ways.” – Mother Teresa
“The unwounded life bears no resemblance to the Rabbi.” – Brennan Manning