I learned that while God allows sufferings in our lives in order for us to grow in our character and to seek Him even more, He never leaves our side. He picks us up whenever we fall, but also teaches us to stand up every time we do.
Today’s Gospel reading reveals what some of the followers of Jesus expected Him to be — a political leader who would free Israel from the Romans.
“But we were hoping that he would be the one to redeem Israel.” — Luke 24:21
But when Jesus died a humiliating death on the cross, they were discouraged, disheartened, and probably disappointed.
As a cradle Catholic, I knew about God and Jesus and His passion and resurrection since I was young. But it was only in 2011 when I began seeking Him more.
At first, I saw God as a genie who would grant my every wish if only I believed hard enough. But whenever I didn’t get what I want, I would get disappointed and complain against Him.
But in my faith journey, I slowly learned to see Him as a Father, a parent who wants what’s best for me. I learned to see Him as a Father who wants to see His child become the best version of himself — even if it allowing His child to go through hardships and difficulties.
In my journey so far, I faced a lot of trials in my career, in my finances, in my relationships especially with my family, and even in our health.
But through those trials, I grew in my perseverance. I learned to endure in my sufferings. I learned to be more patient. I learned to work harder. I learned not to complain (and that’s a big thing for me). I learned to be more grateful for what I have. I learned to live simply and make do with a small salary. I learned to love and to empathize, especially with those who were going through similar trials and hardships.
I also learned that while God allows sufferings in our lives in order for us to grow in our character and to seek Him even more, He never leaves our side. He picks us up whenever we fall, but also teaches us to stand up every time we do.
When my wife became pregnant, but then she was diagnosed with a condition called “incompetent cervix” and had to be on bed rest, I had to do all the household chores in addition to my day job. I also had to work harder to pay our bills as she had to stop working. But that was the time when I felt like my growth in my character was exponential. (Really. I seldom complain now. Little inconveniences do not bother as much anymore.)
I also learned to rejoice in my sufferings as they allow me to share in the sufferings of Christ and of His Church (like what St. Paul wrote to the Colossians):
“Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the church.” — Colossians 1:24
Most importantly, I learned to trust God as a child trusts in a parent, knowing that He would never let me down.
How about you? How do you see God?