As a father, my desire is to avoid any unnecessary suffering for my kids. I can say, “I don’t want them to suffer.” This sounds like a good thing and something born of love. However, this desire, like all desires, can often lead us astray.
For some this mandate is even greater where they wish to avoid suffering “at all costs”. Well, taken literally this means money. We all too often look to money to deal with suffering, but in the end we pay dearly. What do I teach my children with this type of behavior?
What if I take a different point of view? What if I hope that my children suffer to the exact measure that is meant for them? Can I do this?
When Jesus spoke about his future suffering, his disciple Peter took him aside and said to him (I’ll paraphrase here):
“Listen Lord. You don’t really mean this. This doesn’t have to happen. Heaven forbid that you suffer!”
What was Jesus response? “You are thinking evil thoughts Peter! You are ignoring God’s will. All you care about is yourself.” Very tough words indeed.
I consider what Jesus’ mother, Mary, thought about all this. Most likely, she kept it all in her heart.
When I think “I don’t want my kids to suffer” and I then act in a manner to prevent their suffering at all costs, am I truly thinking that I want to avoid suffering at all costs?
But if they can’t learn to suffer, they can’t learn to love.
I want to wave a magic wand to make it all better and leave my child asleep in numbing anesthesia. This is power.
Jesus hung on a cross for me. He bled for me. He suffered for me instead of using his power. This is love.
Can I endure the suffering by witnessing my child’s suffering? Am I capable of entrusting them to God?
Am I capable of such love?
God has forgiven me of so many things. So many.
Jesus loves you so very much.