Learning From Those Who Suffer


 

A Silhouette of Sadness

 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I love talking to people who have suffered greatly. No, I don’t get some twisted pleasure from listening to the plight of others. Those who suffer or who have suffered have a unique perspective on life.

When I meet someone who has suffered, whether physically, emotionally, financially, or spiritually, I take the time to talk to them, to pick their brains, to dig into their experience. I want to know what they went through, how they felt, how they made it through, what they learned, how they changed.

No one emerges from suffering unchanged. These folk have discovered what it is to really live, the value of life and relationships. They know the importance of perspective and priorities. Life has taught them lessons you can’t put a price tag on; it has tempered their resolve, strengthened their courage, sharpened their wisdom. God has shown them a side of himself few get to see.

For them, suffering has been a blessing. And they’ll be the first ones to admit that.

I need that reminder, that refresher course in what really matters in life. In the midst of the busyness of life and the constant battle with expectations and desires and pressure, I need to be refocused by these folk.

Here is a sampling of life lessons I’ve learned from people who have traversed the Valley of the Shadow of Death:

  • Relationships are what matter most, not success or image or climbing some ladder to nowhere.
  • God is there even if you can’t feel his presence.
  • It’s okay to be honest with God. He’s big enough to hear us put a voice to our emotions.
  • Suffering is temporary. No matter how long you have to endure it, an end will come.
  • When I am weak, then I am strong.
  • It’s okay to accept help from others, they are God’s messengers of grace.
  • When you have nothing else to hold on to, God is still there.
  • When God is silent, that’s when he’s holding us tight.
  • Suffering can be a blessing in disguise.

Have you learned any other important and noteworthy lessons from those who have suffered? Or from your own suffering?

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About mikedellosso

Mike Dellosso is an author of wide-eyed suspense. He writes stories that not only entertain but enlighten.

Posted on March 14, 2013, in Christian Living, Life in General, Suffering and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. Ahhh this is so encouraging! I am learning in my own life these things and have been feeling discouraged. Thanks for posting this, the reminder is needed 🙂

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  2. I have been through a tough life recently. I have learned everyone of the things you have listed. I too have wondered where God was and because of my hurt I couldn’t feel Him. Through reading His Word and praying He hasn’t removed my hurt but I am comforted to know He is there with me and Loves and cares for me more than anyone.

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    • Tanya, you make a great point. Just because we cry out to God doesn’t mean He’s going to remove our pain, but knowing He’s with us and that His love will endure makes the journey a whole lot less painful.

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  3. Through two years of suffering, the following reflects some of what God taught me……

    “My Lamentations”

    Lord, right now You seem so far away
    and it feels like You don’t care
    my burden is so heavy
    the pain’s too much to bear.

    Oh I’ve been in this place before
    in many different ways
    my face is down here on the floor
    I’m calling out Your name.

    Streams of tears flow from my eyes
    this is a brand new day
    I lift my heart, I lift my hands
    to my God in heaven and say–

    I remember hope
    I remember love
    I am not consumed
    ’cause each morning from above
    Your compassion falls down
    and washes over me
    Your mercy and grace
    is in my heart and on my face
    There’s no measure to Your faithfulness.

    I just can’t seem to hear You lord
    behind all these big walls
    then in sadness I realize
    I have built them all.

    Oh God, I will search my ways
    examine my pride
    I know You are right next to me
    You’ve redeemed my life.

    Streams of tears flow from my eyes
    this is a brand new day
    I lift my heart, I lift my hands
    to my God in heaven and say–

    I remember hope
    I remember love
    I am not consumed
    ’cause each morning from above
    Your compassion falls down
    and washes over me
    Your mercy and grace
    is in my heart and on my face
    There’s no measure to Your faithfulness.

    You are my portion, Lord
    I will wait for You
    You are good to those who hope in You
    who seek to know You more
    Jesus, You are my reward

    I remember hope
    I remember love
    I am not consumed
    ’cause each morning from above
    Your compassion falls down
    and washes over me
    Your mercy and Your grace
    is in my heart and on my face
    There’s no measure to Your faithfulness.

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  4. Matthew Schwartz

    Mike, Hey, how ya doing? To tell you the truth, I’ve never read anything by or from you. Spiritual reading isn’t too my tastes (I’m an agnostic myself, but people should be able to do what they want AS LONG AS they’re not hurting anybody, or infringing upon anyone else’s person, life, liberty, or prosperity. At least, that’s my philosophy.), but I came across you from one of your posts or blogs about stuttering. I too have a stuttering problem, but over the past few years it’s become BAD! I used to do very well, I’ve had MANY, MANY, MANY times and periods of fluency, and when speech was not even really much of an issue at all. God, those were the days. We can never get those days back can we? No matter how hard we try, those days, they just won’t come back. I can go into more detail about my history of fluency, but the past few months/years have become so bad that I’m still stuttering and blocking like crazy when I’m ALONE (Especially reading, which is really scary, because I always used to be good at reading.). This is seriously bad and strange, I mean, who stutters, blocks, and has anxiety about speech when they’re ALONE? It’s very rare for a stutterer to stutter when they’re by themselves. I’ve been through so much therapy over the years, that I have absolutely no clue what the hell I’m doing anymore, I talk to myself pretty much all the time, and I’m worried about speech and stuttering ALL of the time. I seriously don’t know how much longer I can go on like this. I can see myself living like this every single day: FOR YEARS AND YEARS! I really can’t live like this anymore, and I can no longer say certain words or sounds (Fricatives mostly, and especially F, S, C,P, T, D, even M, N, hell, pretty much ALL of them are bad now.). Have you ever experienced anything like this, and is there anything that you recommend? The bad times have ALWAYS blown over in the past. I think that my days of fluency are over. It seems inconceivable to be as fluent as I was in the past. I wish that I could go back to being a covert or closet stutterer again. They have it SO much easier, and SO much better. Thanks For Reading.

    Matthew Schwartz matts80@aol.com

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    • Matthew, when I was younger (up until I was 25) I had stuff like that happen. My fluency would come and go. For weeks it would be great and then it would totally tank. It was almost a cycle and I used to try to time public speaking stuff around my fluent times or hope and pray that when I had to speak publicly it would come during one of those fluent times. But lately I’ve been doing pretty good. Still have some times where I really struggle, though. I think my turn-around was when I started writing. Writing gave me an outlet to express myself and really upped my confidence. And it was during a particular time in my life that I decided I was going to stop fighting stuttering and just go with it. I think accepting it took some of the pressure off and it in turn improved. And accepting that this is the way God made me and He must have done it for a reason. I’m sorry you’re having such a hard time of it. Stuttering sucks, it just does. I feel for you because I’ve been there on many occasions.

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  5. I lost my lower left arm just below the elbow in an accident back in June of 2006, shortly after I turned 25. The thing that blesses me the most is that I can share my story with so many people in my everyday life because God brings people to me who are just curious about my arm, opening the door to share Christ everywhere I go. What a wonderful gift of witness God has given me.
    Jonathan Black.

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