Living in the Tension of Suffering and Joy
Last weekend I listened to this statement and it resonated with my heart and soul. It was a revelation of truth that answered the questions I constantly grapple with during times of suffering. It was a breath of fresh air that permeated my entire being and lifted me up.
I constantly wrestle in times of suffering wondering how long it will last and how I will cope, how I will recover, and what to do next. These questions are filled with emotions that most always do not serve me well. And in times of joy, I feel a tendency to withhold my whole heart from receiving the blessing and being 100% in the moment, because I need to brace myself for the next suffering that may happen. I now realize this way of living is not only exhausting, but it is not truly living.
I have been pondering this truth every day since I heard it and I am experiencing a new sense of calm and peace. I know that all suffering and all joy is temporary. Life swings back and forth to each. The experiences of suffering can become a platform for the joy. I know the depths of joy because I know the depths suffering. And joy is so much more appreciated when it splashes upon me in a season of suffering and it often does. I no longer dread the suffering but realize it is the reality of life on Earth and every creature experiences both. I look for the small moments of joy each day and when the larger doses of joy come, I am even more prepared to fully embrace them and share them with others. Suffering is no longer something I try to avoid. It is an opportunity for growth. It is a reality I look at “in the face” and say, “I do have hope, and I have help, and the joy is coming,…maybe even in the morning!”
Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. Psalm 30:5