BY: ALYSSA KIM
“For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering.” Hebrews 2:10 (ESV)
Suffering. Everyone encounters it. We all harbor pain and sorrow in our hearts at some point. True suffering that causes us to fall to our knees and cry out for God’s help, or anyone’s help for that matter. It causes our tears to fall, fists to tremble, and hearts to fragment. It hurts to the extent that our hearts feel as if they are literally breaking to pieces, but in the end, God pulls us through with His grace. This is all God’s love.
As a child, I held so much anger and bitterness in my heart, to the point where I said that I hated God. I grew up blaming Him for every single trouble in my life because I had no one else to blame. The disunity in my family, the trouble that my brothers caused, the drama that took place at school – I held God responsible for all of it because I wasn’t going to blame my family and I definitely wasn’t going to blame myself. I would look to the skies and scream at Him, asking why He would give me so much pain when he claims to be an all-loving God. My heart was covered with calluses of bitterness I couldn’t remove because they were so hardened. No words could comfort me, no friends could empathize with me, and no God could help me.
But, as I grew older, came to college, and took time to actually see the glimpses of hope that God placed around me, I realized that He is in fact so merciful. There would be times when my family would laugh together and when my days flew by without a single struggle. So I finally asked, “Why doesn’t God hate me if I had kept saying that I hated Him for all He did to me?” God knows every thought that runs through my mind and it amazed me when I thought about how He wasn’t furious with me. Couldn’t He just strike me down right now for putting all the blame on Him for my hardships and snap me back to my senses? Didn’t He think I was stupid and immature for thinking that He would do such things without a plan for me in the end?
God told me that I wasn’t stupid and I wasn’t immature. He told me that He brought these struggles upon my life because His healing power is a representation of His love for me. I’m lucky that my suffering was inflicted upon me by God and not by myself, because when you twist suffering into a product of your own doing, a result of your own works, you twist God’s intentions into something wayward and destructive. And that is the suffering that is difficult to heal with God’s graceful hand.
At times, it may feel as if God is destroying whatever lies inside of us, breaking down each and every inch of our hearts and ripping us apart. Suffering breaks us down, makes us cry, shatters us until we are ugly and broken, flawed and damaged. However, we are always healed by God’s grace. So it’s not just the suffering that we thank God for, but also God’s grace through suffering that we are grateful for. The sufferings that He bestows upon us are transformed into tests and gifts for us because they show that He loves us enough to pull us through in one piece.
So thank you God for showing us that we are at our highest in your eyes when we are at our lowest. Thank you for what you do through suffering and for showing your love for us, one that is so unconventional and unfathomable.