How to Suffer Love

Tears pricked my eyes. I smiled, but it didn’t make it to my eyes. I was too tired to try. My heart squeezed tight and the world seemed to spiral down…

And there really wasn’t a reason why…No diagnosis for myself or my family…No financial issues…Just the stress of life and change…the painful kind. The kind when you suffer because other people make choices that hurt your heart and let you down and there are no easy answers.

Yet life looks good and you know you are grateful for the sun and food and roof over your head…Still there is an ache. Ache over injustice, children in pain, families dealing with tragedy or diagnoses, and it is the ache of living.

Nicholas Wolterstorff once wrote “To love our suffering sinful world is to suffer.” And maybe that it is it…I suffer because I love.

I feel like the Psalmist who wrote, “Why so downcast O my soul? Put your hope in God…” (Psalm 42:5) Still this admonition does little to drive away the darkness that clouds my heart.

Life just seems heavy and burdensome and I can’t do it alone.

There Jesus calls, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matt 11:28)

Rest…That is what I need, but there is more than just rest that Jesus offers.

He continues, “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matt 11:29-30)

And so I can suffer love and feel the pain of poor choices, difficult situations, injustice, and suffering, but I don’t have to bear the burden of it all. Jesus bore it on the cross…His death and resurrection shows that God will turn suffering and injustice on their heads. In the end there will be beauty that comes from the ashes of life.

When I suffer love I cannot be short-sighted or I will remain heavy laden. Instead I must come to Jesus, carry the burden He gave me to carry, and set my eyes on eternity. There the ash heaps of life will become beautiful and the victory is won…There love will no longer suffer.