Many people in their journey with grief ask, why does suffering exist? It may not be worded the same from one person to another, but the inquiry is the same. I now offer some suggestions, hopefully to comfort. You may not believe the reasons immediately, just let them sink in.

    Suffering keeps this world from becoming too attractive. We as a humanity were never meant to remain here on this earthly plain, as our bodies are subject to decay, decline and death. So also this earth will one day be dissolved.  Secondly, suffering can bring out our best. A person who is seriously ill may see the constant support from friends, family, and others with the preparation and delivery of food for the family, just to mention two examples. We see this in times of natural disaster as well, in tornados, tsunamis, forest fires or earthquakes, people coming to the assistance of others. Tribulation sometimes may also be beneficial in bringing us back to more important priorities of faith, family, and the community in which we live.  

    Suffering may make us appreciate our blessings. There is a song that has these words that illustrate this point: “When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed, when you are discouraged, thinking all is lost, count your many blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done.” We receive so many good things in life - good health, good family, good friends, etc. Tribulations make us pause and give opportunity to be grateful.  Tribulation may give us the blessing of being more dependent upon others outside ourselves. Too many people are too private and I understand this to mean, they are self-sufficient and do not need assistance from others. We are not islands to ourselves. We need the support from others. This is Sunrise Aftercare, sunrise@sfdcares.com.

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