Hey everyone! Just a little warning, today’s post is a little long and deep, but I think it’s something a few of us need to hear.
Over the past few weeks, it’s seemed like everything terrible that could’ve happened has happened. I know people who have lost many close friends. There’s been a massive school tragedy. A bridge fell and took innocent lives. A powerful storm devastated millions in the northeast. As a result, many of us, myself included, have begun to question what might be next.
It’s funny how the world seems to work, though. On Sunday, I was sitting in church, and the Gospel gave an insight into Jesus’ suffering, which isn’t something that normally happens during the Lenten readings. Jesus always suffers and triumphs, but this Gospel was different. Scripture depicts a few men coming to see and asking for Jesus. When Jesus was alerted of their presence, He knew something was wrong. He said to his disciples,
“The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.
Amen, amen, I say to you,
unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies,
it remains just a grain of wheat;
but if it dies, it produces much fruit…
“I am troubled now.”
In the first and last sentences, we see that Jesus knew something terrible was coming. He knew His hour was at hand and was deeply troubled. In the coming days, He would die before ultimately rising from the dead.
I know we aren’t Jesus and some of us aren’t necessarily religious, but we can still take something away from this. Everyone suffers. Everyone has points in their lives that are hard. I’ve had two dark times in my life that were unlike any other: a few years during high school as well as my sophomore year of college. I was in a tough place, but I got through it…and I can say without a doubt that those years made me who I am today, which is someone I’m pretty damn proud to be. Those years taught me lessons that have not only helped me but have also allowed me to help others. Those lessons set me on the path I’m on today. I suffered for a reason. We all suffer for a reason. As Scripture puts it, our suffering “produces much fruit”.
No matter what it is that you’re going through, no matter how grueling it is, and no matter how confusing and meaningless it seems to be, I assure you that you’ll “rise from the dead” at some point. Your pain has a purpose. You might not know it immediately…it might take you a few months or years to realize it, but you will eventually.
In the meantime, lean on your friends, your family, and your faith. Have support.
You are not your struggle. You are not your loneliness. You are not your mental illness. You are not your pain. You are whoever you want to be.
“Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have – life itself.”