Thursday, September 20, 2007

Only A Dot There

We all go through certain kinds of misery in our life. The feeling of being alone, abandoned, worthless, and hopeless is not uncommon. We think we’ve gone through all possible troubles anyone could ever imagine. We think we’ve just had enough.

Is this all there is in this life? Nothing but pure hardships? We struggle for more than 20 years of our life trying to learn everything needed in order to live. We struggle for another 20 to 30 years finding life’s meaning, trying to jail ourselves in the world we created- work, all sorts of relationships, goals. For the remaining 20 to, luckily, 30 years of our life, we hope to see ourselves content with the fruits of hard work in all those years. It’s funny how we saved up and prepared for these last years of our life, only to spend it trying to struggle from an illness and a new batch of pure hardships. We struggle from another phase of seeking for answers. Have I lived my life well? And in the process, we still end up frustrated, incomplete, empty.

Truly, life is all about sufferings. We live in this sinful world where comfort and happiness are always backed with distress and anguish. We have our own difficulties. We’re not in a battle of comparison of who has endured more of life’s setbacks. We don’t compete for a prize for life’s sufferings that whoever has the most would be rewarded in the end. If so, everybody would pray not for blessings but sufferings.

Consequently, we grumble. We all think we’re not worthy of all the bad things that happen to us. We believe that we’re innocent enough to have to go through life’s challenges. And most often than not, we don’t even consider it a challenge. We deem it a curse inflicted on us only to make us suffer. We complain that life is truly unfair.

Indeed it is. Nobody promised that living this life would be easy. Nobody claimed that the 70, 80 years of our lifetime would be a bed of roses. Yes we have our own difficulties- lost jobs, material insufficiencies, physical disabilities, health concerns, broken relationships- and we find ourselves having all these familiar feeling: alone, abandoned, worthless, hopeless.

If life is nothing but pure misery, what is there to be hopeful for?

We may be experiencing the most terrible agony in life. We may be born with physical handicap, we may have lost our loved ones from a tragic accident, or we may have suffered abuse from other people. In spite of all the seemingly bad luck that happens to us, it can only affect us to the extent that we allow it to. Zooming in to every suffering makes us blind from everything else- things that we ought to be thankful for. It may be a special skill, love and support from friends and family, the fact that we’re still breathing, the fact that each day, we’re given a chance to make our life better.

It’s not the suffering that matters; it’s how we triumph from it. How, then, do we succeed? Can we make it through if we cling on to something of this world? Certainly not. Only if we learn to fully submit ourselves to that someone greater than all of us that we will be able to embrace life’s miseries. God assured us that no matter what happens, He will never abandon us nor forsake us. Our God is the maker of heaven and earth. He is all powerful and almighty. No problem is big enough for God. He hears us, He listens. He deeply cares for us. Knowing that God is our fortress, would there still be a room for doubt? Would there still be a room for worry? Would there still be a room for fear? Not a chance.

Despite all the bad things happening to us, as if being done to us in purpose, we still have something to rejoice for, to be hopeful for, because in the end of it all, whoever remains in Him, will be welcomed in His kingdom. Isn’t it a great promise? Should we still bug ourselves with the 70, 80 years of our life knowing that as we go to our final sleep, we have a reward that’s far greater than we can ever imagine?

Let us not lose ourselves on our sufferings. In God’s eyes, the bigger picture is far more important than the most depressing thing that we felt, the gravest thing that we endure. Those are in all sense, nothing. Life on earth is no doubt only a dot in eternity. All the pain in this world is nothing but a dust blown away by the loving care of our Father.

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