I had a conversation with a friend a couple of months ago about suffering. He said, “We shouldn’t choose suffering. That’s just foolish. We accept suffering when it comes to us.”
A couple of years ago, we decided to host a Thanksgiving dinner at our house and while all the hoopla of roasting a turkey was taking place in the kitchen, one of us took my camera around to each person and videotaped our responses to this question: “What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?” I never did end up accumulating the videos and now they’re just sitting as .avi files in the abyss of my computer. The other day while I was cleaning out my files, I stumbled upon these videos.
First of all, I swear it only was only 2008, but we all looked so young and carefree. Life has a funny way of aging us, one day at a time. But some things never change. As the camera-handler of the moment came to me to get my thoughts on what I was thankful for that particular season, without much hesitation, I proceeded to say, “This season, I am thankful for suffering. It’s through suffering that I am refined as a human being…”
There is much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving season of 2010. But if I had to pinpoint one thing I am most thankful for, it would be, yet again, suffering. I can’t say that I’ve suffered in the way of illness or significant loss, but my heart continues to suffer because of my stubbornness in grasping much in this life. Trust me, I don’t go around wishing that suffering would befall my life. But the more I uncover my self, the more I see the depths of depravity in my heart and that inevitably causes much grief. It’s a grief that I know I must experience in order to grow as a human being. It’s the kind of suffering that I know I must go through to be pruned. Perhaps I will always suffer as long as I am on this earth.
But take heart, God has overcome this world.