One of my favourite quotes is by Friedrich Nietzsche who said “He whose life has a why, can bear almost any how!”
Basically when there is a purpose behind the pain you are going through, it’s bearable. The pain of child birth is made bearable by a baby, the pain of studying is made bearable by passing those exams.
But the opposite is also true, when your suffering has no purpose, it’s unbearable! Such as illness or loss of a loved one. In this current season where there seems to be so much fear and suffering, it can feel like ‘what possible ‘why’ can there be for this loss?’ and it may be unbearable.
The key is to (by faith) attach purpose to whatever it is we’re suffering. The story of how Doubting Thomas got his name can help.
Imagine how confusing and disheartening it was for Thomas when first Jesus dies but then reappears to the other 11 without him there. Thomas must have felt, ‘this is Jesus? He knows all things, he knew I wouldn’t be there, couldn’t he have come two hours later when I was back?’ ‘I don’t understand, I’m hurting so I refuse to believe!’
Then when he finally sees Jesus, he worships him to which Jesus replies:
John 20:29 “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
We aren’t called to understand, we’re called to believe.
It’s difficult, I know, but when you’re in pain and confused, when you feel like everyone’s at the party except you, and it’s impossible to see how this loss could ever be worked for the good, stop and say to yourself, ‘hang on! This is an opportunity to believe without seeing!’ ‘I don’t understand, but this is an opportunity to be ‘really blessed!’
In this strange season we find ourselves in, remember: ‘he whose life has a ‘why’, can bear almost any ‘how’!’ Let’s always, no matter how things look, remember Jesus Christ is our why, and no one who puts their hope in him will be disappointed. We’ll never know all the answers, we just need to keep believing in the reason and put our hope in Him!
A daily devotion for a better way of living.