Excerpts from the chapter "Glimpses of Growth" in Making Sense of Suffering, by Wayne E. Brickey.
The costs of growth are temporary; the results are eternal. No matter how much we know of this world's distress, we see only a tiny, stern episode in a long and marvelous story. We rarely get a hint of the completed product, the coming together of the puzzle. But now and then we get a peek at the wondrous growth going on.
|image by brungrrl|
I've found that suffering is easy to speak of theoretically. When heart-wrenching trials are thrown into an already semithorny path, the time for theorizing is over and the hard work begins.
In 1989 we had the privilege of adopting a beautiful baby boy. The joy that my husband and I and our four daughters experienced was inexpressible. Our love for him was immediate and deep. But then came the day when racial issues called into question the adoption proceedings. Our hearts froze; our lives froze. The unspeakable, horrifying outcome was that our son was taken from our arms and our home, though we have never stopped holding him in our hearts since that day. Our joy turned into anguish. We were left with broken hearts. In total confusion, we asked, "Why?"
There were many days of suffering and pain yet ahead. But years later, my heart is filled with peace. We know the peace and spiritual growth that seem to come only by suffering. How can we know how to succor others if we have not experienced our own Gethsemane?
It is really possible to view this trial with peace and joy, for that is our view of it today. Sadness can turn to joy and pain to peace if we will turn our hearts to the Master.
We welcome your comments. How have the trials you've faced in your journey created growth in your life?