Have you ever known someone who seemingly has it all but grumbles and complains through life? Maybe they have money, fame, good health, and success and yet, they’re never really content?
On the contrary – have you ever known someone, either up close or through reading or watching their story unfold, go through a season (or an entire life) of suffering – and do so with this intangible, can’t-put-your-finger-on-it joy? Amidst great pain and heartache, they somehow have this underlying, seemingly supernatural peace.
Why are we so drawn to the latter? What is it about these people? What is that thing they have that makes no sense at all? Why aren’t they angry? Why aren’t they bitter?
- How can someone whose body is ravaged with cancer have that kind of joy?
- Why would someone trust a God that would allow his or her child to suffer?
- Why are they not constantly angry, grumbling, and furious at God for allowing their circumstances?
When we see something beautiful and lovely and joyful sprouting up out of circumstances of despair, it just seems incomprehensible.
But what about this? What if there is something in suffering that produces this unlikely joy?
What if suffering … is a gift?