“The rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house …”
- Matthew 7:25 (NLT)
We’re prone to making a serious mistake as it relates to suffering, and that is believing that suffering is supposed to be an exceptional or strange feature in life.
It works like this: Something comes crashing into our world, and because we’re accustomed to comfort and peace, we see it as a foreign object that requires immediate removal. And when it isn’t removed, we find it strange and unsettling. “This shouldn’t be happening to me! What’s wrong with me? What’s wrong with my life?”
The answer is nothing. Nothing is wrong because trials are part of the package of being human. Earth is an imperfect place, and that means the rain will come in torrents, floodwaters are going to rise, and winds are going to beat against us. Trials are inevitable because that’s just the way of life on this planet that we all occupy.
We can try to protect and insulate ourselves against suffering, but sooner or later it’s going to catch up with us. Whether it’s unexpected or it’s anticipated, something in life is going to break: a discouraging diagnosis, the loss of a loved one, or a “can’t miss” opportunity that misses the mark in a major way. There’s going to be something, and there’s nothing we’re going to be able to do stop it.
What does this mean for us? It means the objective shouldn’t be to avoid suffering at all costs. Instead, we should understand that it’s going to happen and take refuge in the One who has the power to preserve us through our suffering. Jesus didn’t say the storms of life might come; He guaranteed they would. When we understand this, we will be better prepared for their arrival.