Most of us can do without suffering. It kind of goes with living. It is not just humans who suffer; so it is not merely the human condition, the cost of being human. It is the cost of being alive. Many of us would love it if, by following Jesus, all our suffering would magically go away. Turns out to be just the opposite. When we follow Jesus, we follow one who suffered; and the path we follow has suffering as a toll. Grace and love and forgiveness are God’s response to suffering. Not less suffering but more love and forgiveness. From our vantage point, suffering looks like losing and defeat. From God’s vantage point, there is now room for great love, great forgiveness and great grace. Suffering becomes a new chance for a deeper connection of love. In the midst of suffering, ours is a God of great love.
2 Corinthians 12:7-10