I sometimes slip into that delusion, that my suffering is some kind of injustice, inflicted on me from a world which grins at such things. How, I might ask, can it be fair that I, a person who tries to do what is right, most of the time, and treat others decently, most of the time, suffer? I pretend that suffering is some sort of punishment for those that deserve it and yet question why I suffer. Therefore, by extension, I must be assuming that I do not deserve any punishment or suffering of any kind because I try my best not to inflict those very things on others.
Thankfully, through the grace of God, my delusion is temporary, for I do have my moments of lucidity when I realize that my suffering is neither a punishment nor an injustice but, rather, an opportunity and a just consequence of my very own sins. If I am honest to myself, the very times when I have suffered the most have been when I have sinned the most for, by sinning, I distance myself from my Divine Master, Jesus, and suffer many ills, both spiritual and temporal, as a result.
My suffering, therefore, is a just consequence of my own sins and, therefore, my responsibility to do with it as I may. Since I am human, therefore weak, therefore fallible, I could just give up and surrender to the evil one, figuring that I will never be worthy of God’s love, mercy, or help. However, that is the very thing that the evil one wants me to do. In fact, I have discovered that it is precisely when I sin the most, that I must love my God the most, for by loving Him that much, so much, I will dread being apart from Him that much more and, hopefully, run to His mercy and forgiveness to erase my deep discomfort and pain at being separated from Him.
My suffering, also, is an opportunity, for it allows me to draw closer to the suffering of my Master, who suffered for all of us. Not, of course, due to any sin of His own but, rather, due to the very sins that we commit now. Once again, I could feel such dread and remorse at driving the nails into my Master that I would flee from Him in hopelessness. However, I love Him too much to do that. I need Him too much to do that. Therefore, I must strive to turn that suffering into an opportunity to grow, to feel, and to forgive, both others and myself, as well as to remain humble and dedicated to the salvation of others and myself.
So, you see, I create my own suffering yet, I can then create my own response to that suffering. It can be to run from my only Hope, which is God, or run to Him, thus turning my suffering into the blessing it can be if used correctly. The choice is up to me.
Copyright, 2012, Gabriel Garnica