Finding the Silver Lining: Positive Things That Come Out Of Pain & Suffering

Yeah, yeah. I’m a mass of contradictions. I’m a Catholic but I read horoscopes. Okay, I read them but I don’t plan my day around them. Nor after reading them do I commit what it said to memory so that all day I’ll keep looking for “a flash of inspiration that will influence a momentous decision.” Oh goodness, gracious!

I read them because like everyone else, I’m curious. I’m curious about what the future holds – what’s in store for me today, tomorrow, a year from now…ten years from now! It’s natural to want to know – it’s part of being human, I think. That innate curiosity propels our astronomers to find out what’s in space, our biologists to figure out the human body, our physicists to find out the building blocks of life itself. One of the most annoying questions a child can ask is: “Why?”, especially when it’s asked every 5 seconds! They’re curious, just like every single one of us.

The past Holy Week, I really thought about the journey that Jesus was on. Just like a normal human being His week was full of highs (like when he was welcomed into Jerusalem), lows (well, dying’s a pretty big low), certainty (he knew every single step that must be taken) and doubt (when he was on his knees in the Garden of Gethsemane) but unlike a normal human being, He knew exactly what the future held for Him – death on the cross.

Then I wondered, what if, like Jesus, I was able to look into my future? Will I like what I see? Or will it send me to the Lord asking for a refund? Or maybe I would try to do something differently to change the outcome. Or is ignorance really bliss? I mean, how would I live my life if I knew exactly how and when I would die? How would you?

Yeah, we all struggle with the uncertainty of our futures but doesn’t that struggle make getting to the destination all the more sweeter? Don’t parents cherish a child even more after they’ve fought so hard to conceive? Doesn’t freedom taste sweeter when you’ve been in jail, or captured? Isn’t being healthy all the more precious after you’ve beaten a terrible illness? Isn’t love more treasured after it’s been so hard sought?

Life doesn’t come with ‘exchanges’ or ‘refunds’ or even a ‘satisfaction guaranteed’ but honestly, I don’t want it to. “If it’s worth it, it’s worth fighting for”. That’s what life is, that’s how we know it has meaning. When after the shadows, you see light, you know it’s the most beautiful thing you’ll ever see and all that pain was never meaningless.

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