Have you ever seen a dog chase his own tail? It is baffling to wonder maybe what is going on in the mind of man’s best friend in this intriguing pursuit. It is possible that maybe our Canine companion thinks he is chasing something away from him, and yet is so aggravatingly close that he is moved to capture it. It could also possibly be entirely the opposite, maybe dogs believe they are the ones in the position of the pursued, madly evading the seemingly-eminent “hunter” tail. Either way, we all know it always looks completely ridiculous.
It is as ridiculous as trying to shake off one’s foot, and its equally as ridiculous as trying to shake off suffering from our lives. People often think they can escape suffering. They Can’t. Its as futile as escaping your tail. Suffering finds all of us; whether you're young or old, rich or poor, smart or dull, suffering is inescapable. People will more readily deny belief in Jesus, the Tooth-fairy, and Buddha, before they deny belief in suffering. It is an unfortunate reality of our world and no one can escape it as long as they accept to live in reality.
Yet, we try so hard to escape it. Pills, Medicine, Distractions, Pornography, Drinking, you name it. So often our sins are direct evasive maneuvers of this difficult reality we face. Now I am not saying we shouldn’t do our best to avoid suffering. I am not endorsing some machismo grit-your-teeth and deal with it mentality. Let me quickly reassure you that I hate suffering as much as the next person, in fact I often find myself unashamedly frantically searching for Mommy still sometimes when things get tough. Still, being saturated in a culture that holds a successful life as a constant ascent from pleasure to pleasure, I cant help but look at the cross and say we are attempting to delete one of the greatest gifts Christ gave us in his Incarnation.
Simply put: We shouldn’t get rid of suffering because CHRIST OWNS IT.
In his Passion he took on all of humanity’s ailments from sin and owned them as his own. He took on suffering, transformed, and purified it for his own cause. He took our worst fear and by love transformed it into the language if his love! God does not delete, He re-appropriates. In fact, the only way we can fathom his love is by entering into the very suffering he endured for us, for YOU. You can't fathom the depth of His love for you until you taste the intensity of his suffering for you. Suffering is the language Jesus speaks to tell us he loves us. It is love both in word and deed. He doesn't just tell you he loves you, he suffers he loves you.
In His Goodness, He will not let you escape it. People ask what Good God would allow suffering to happen? I in response ask, “What Good God would let you run away from experiencing the depth of his love for you?”
In this culture, suffering is avoided as the deepest poverty, but we can’t fall to that mindset. As Christians we must go against the current of the World and elevate suffering to the same level as joy. Yes, Joy! Jesus will never make you carry a cross by yourself, so Trust that Jesus will never give you more than you can handle. Even when it feels like its too much, behold your strength fellow brother or sister, for he believes in you past your own belief! We shouldn't get rid of suffering because Christ owns it. So trust that he is inviting you deeper into his love next time suffering rears its head and discover his Passion for you.
“For the sake of the joy that lay before him he endured the cross, despising its shame, and has taken his seat at the right of the throne of God. Consider how he endured such opposition from sinners, in order that you may not grow weary and lose heart.” (Hebrews 12:2)