"After his soul suffers many things, he will see life and be satisfied." -Isaiah 53:11
This was part of my devotional reading this morning and it really spoke to me. This portion of scripture is referring to Jesus, and I can see how it can relate to us as well. It seems to me that the things I have suffered have contributed to maturity in me. They have caused me to look at life with a new perspective and helped me learn to be content with what I have and where I am. Not overnight, of course, and usually after a time of fit pitching, but in the end I come to some sort of understanding - an enlightening, if you will. If I really stop and think about it, rather than just reacting, I really can rejoice in my suffering because I know it will end in satisfaction, and I know this because God is in control of every situation of my life. Not everyone can say this, unfortunately. Not everyone allows God to be in control of their situations, and their situations can have less desirable outcomes. I so often marvel at the fact that so many people endure this life without Him. I could not imagine it. I truly believe that without Him I would probably have been committed years ago. On my own, I am not very strong - emotionally or physically. I have been able to endure because Christ has strengthened me to do so, and Christ has strengthened me because I acknowledged that I was weak on my own and asked Him to be my strength. I ask Him every day to be my strength.
My physical limitations alone require His strength. He has allowed me to suffer a "thorn" in my flesh (actually in my bones), that causes me to rely on His grace to physically move. To His glory, I not only move, but accomplish many things in a day including carrying around a 23 pound 7-month old, and picking up a 3-year old. Every day I am amazed by His love, grace, and mercy. Because of my "suffering", all of my "sufferings", and the way He carries me through them, I have come to rely greatly on Him and to be thankful for the work He is doing in my life. I truly understand that His grace is sufficient for me, His love for me is unconditional, His mercies are new every morning, and He has a plan and is working all things for good. Because of this understanding, I can be satisfied with where He has me. I am willing to suffer when the suffering leads me to the satisfaction of knowing Him, which when I cling to Him in the midst of it, is exactly what happens. There is no greater satisfaction than that which comes with knowing Him better and loving Him more. To that end, no suffering is unbearable.