On the other side of suffering, I see your transforming work, O God. But when I read this single verse, Jesus’ plea to you, I go back to my season of suffering and my wish to run away from it.
A wise guide spoke hard truth to me when she said to stay with my pain. Let it be my teacher. I did not want to hear those words, but I received them. I lived them, through days and weeks and months, walking the thin line between despair and hope.
I did not numb myself to the pain, but felt it as fully as I was capable of feeling it. And even for that, I was derided by the same ones whose words and deeds had already exiled me.
But because I did not numb myself, did not avoid the pain, I now sing with unfettered joy the song of salvation and new life. I am redeemed and reborn! Thanks be to God! Amen.