The Word and the Meaning of Suffering

at 2023-08-05 08:54:11.0 / 544 Hits

There are times in our daily lives when the words of the Bible seem overwhelming or burdensome. In other words, there are times when we want to do as we please within the principles of the world. At such times, there seems to be a great and small war going on in my hearts. I think it's appropriate to say that the desires of the flesh and the desires of the Spirit are in a constant battle.

On the other hand, there are times when the tackles of my life seem too much to bear. These are times of hardship. When these unwanted and unwelcome guests arrive, it's like a brake on my life, and it's terribly painful. When we want to live our life in style and hot, but we're in the midst of suffering, we may be wondering what to do.

There is a Western proverb that says "If you take away the stones from a flowing stream, the stream loses its song." I remember as a child, my family and I went on a picnic near a stream in a mountain valley in South Korea. It was a big family: my parents, four brothers and four sisters, and the spouses of my older brothers and sisters who were already married. If you put a watermelon in the stream in that valley, it would be cool after a few hours. There are the sounds of nature. There's the gentle breeze, the insects singing, the leaves rustling against each other, and the babbling of the stream.

If you remove stones from a flowing stream, you can be sure that the sound will disappear. It would be nice to be quiet, but you wouldn't be able to hear the song of the stream as you tread on it. We can apply this to our faith life. What happens when we put away the Word (the law/regulations/codes/instructions) because we find it difficult to live by it in our daily lives? We think we are at peace because there seems to be no obstacle, but we soon realize that we have forgotten the right lessons and have strayed from the right path.

In the same way, I think the same principle applies to the struggles we encounter in our daily lives. Like a tackle that comes to each of us, they block our path. Why does a loving God give us this pain and suffering? It is even said that it is good for us to suffer. It is said that it is beneficial to suffer because it is here that we learn His laws. But I don't like this suffering. However I’m obeying His Word, because I know that in the end, God is right.

It has been my experience in the last 30 years of my faith that when I encounter hardships like the tackle, real gratitude and praise come out afterwards. I think what I am most grateful for in encountering the stones of hardship is the realization of what a precious first prize the ordinary is.

The Psalmist gives a confessional testimony. It has been good for me to suffer, for I have learned your statutes.(119:71) & Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.(119:105) Though I lack understanding, by the Lord’s grace, I seem to grasp this meaning.