Life is difficult. No pain, no gain. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. If it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you.
We know this. We say these things All The Time. Then why is it that (for most of us) when life deals us a blow or worse, knocks us down completely, we are genuinely shocked and horrified? Whilst we feel entitled to the highs, we are thoroughly unprepared for the lows. This is not fair... I deserve better... Why me?
Doesn't it seem rather strange that a public holiday dedicated to remembering Jesus' suffering on the cross is called 'Good' Friday? For nothing that happened on this day two thousand or so years ago was worth celebrating- He was abandoned by his friends; tortured, stripped naked and killed in the most remarkably painful and public way. He was mocked and cursed and died as a criminal. How can these things be called 'good'?
Question anyone that has been through great suffering (loss of a loved one, ill-health, financial ruin) and it is common to hear the response: "But even if I could, I wouldn't go back and change it. My pain has taught me so much and made me a better person".
Just as Jesus chose to suffer and die for love, I hope that on this Good Friday, you too can find the good in your suffering. I am glad we have today to reflect on pain and loss, because perhaps, although it is difficult, it is not wrong.
How is your pain changing you?