My husband has been asked to do a reading at our friend’s wedding this weekend. Although my faith is weak right now, I feel as though God handpicked Josh to do this reading because we need to hear it ourselves. Because it has to do with suffering.
From the second letter to the Corinthians. Paul is writing them to say that essentially, as we suffer, we are also encouraged. For if we suffer and are consoled by God, it is so that others may also be encouraged and consoled through their suffering.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and God of all encouragement, who encourages us in our every affliction, so that we may be able to encourage those who are in any affliction with the encouragement with which we ourselves are encouraged by God.
For as Christ’s sufferings overflow to us, so through Christ does out encouragement also overflow. If we are afflicted, it is for your encouragement and salvation; if we are encouraged, it is for your encouragement which enables you to endure the same sufferings that we suffer.
Our hope for you is firm, for we know that as you share in the sufferings, you also share in the encouragement.
2 Cor 1:3-7
My faith was ignited through a missionary call. I was challenged to share the Christian faith with others, and became so excited about my own. I had sufferings, but I was encouraged because I felt like my sufferings were worth it because I was part of the journey to win people to Christ.
But now that I am no longer a missionary, my sufferings no longer hold context. I am no longer encouraged.
There are sufferings that I am rewarded by. I am rewarded in my sufferings in motherhood with my son through his love and the pleasure of watching him grow.
But I have absolutely no idea why I am suffering through insomnia. I am not encouraged. I am not consoled. I see no rhyme or reason why I can’t be granted more than 4 hours of sleep on a “good night”. How can I possibly encourage others who are suffering through this too?
Josh suggested that perhaps I should pray for encouragement through this. To see it as an overflow of Christ’s sufferings, which would inevitably lead to grace.