Don't Waste Your Suffering

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I have a bad case of poison ivy; it has spread across the vast length of both of my legs, planted itself a few places on my arms, and even squirmed it’s way up to a little spot on my neck. My body is having a severe allergic reaction to it. And it will Not. Stop. Itching. To say the least, I’m pretty miserable, as most nights the itching is so bad that I can’t sleep. Why am I telling you this? Because even through a severe case of poison ivy, the Lord has been speaking to me.

The Lord has been teaching me to complain less and offer up my suffering more. “Offer it up,” is such a cliche in Christian culture, a saying that used to (and sometimes still) drives me wild. But it’s a core part of our walk with Christ.

If the Lord suffered on this earth, we can guarantee that we will too. And just as the Lord used his suffering to save souls, the Lord has given us the ability to offer up our suffering for the sake of others.

In the diary of St. Faustina, Jesus says to her: “I thirst. I thirst for the salvation of souls. Help me, My daughter, to save souls. Join your suffering to My Passion and offer them to the heavenly Father for sinners. Everyday we endure some degree of suffering, whether that be a minor inconvenience or a family tragedy. Oftentimes, we resent the suffering in our lives; we complain, we despair, and we wish it away. But the Lord wants to use it al

With this case of poison ivy, the Lord has been teaching me to see it as an opportunity to help other souls rather than a useless inconvenience, discomfort, and pain. The Lord is always in control and only allows events to happen in our lives that He can redeem, that He can bring goodness from. It’s not always easy to accept our suffering. Even as I sit here, I feel the pain of the severe rash on my legs, while also pondering all of the things that have gone wrong this week, änd I’m tempted to sink into sadness and despair. But we have to ask the Lord over and over for the grace to offer up our suffering and stay hopeful and joyful: “Dear Lord, take this suffering of mine and use it to redeem those who do not yet know You.”

Many times, we don’t always see the fruits of offering up our suffering in this life. But, based on the promises of Jesus, I believe we will see the souls we helped save, the people we helped reach heaven, when we are united with Christ in heavenly paradise. What a gift it is that the Lord allows us to participate in His act of redemption!

So the next time you feel burdened under the inevitable hardships of life, open yourself up to the Lord and lay your sufferings down at the foot of the Cross for Him to use as He wills“Dear Lord, take this suffering of mine and use it to redeem those who do not yet know You.

Jacque AndersonComment