Do you think a life free from trouble brings us happiness? I am not so sure about that. There is a German idiom that actually makes fun of the desire to live in a world without problems: “Friede, Freude, Eierkuchen!” which loosely translated means: “Everything’s just hunky-dory!”
God’s peace is evident in times of trouble, it is known to surpass all understanding. I believe problems ultimately are our friends. Suffering shapes us, especially when we include Jesus into the equation.
Jesus suffered like a champion. He was not defensive or lashed back at those who made Him suffer, and yet He was no doormat either. He was the King in chains. Pilate took note of that when he saw Jesus in his interrogation room (Luke 23:3):
“So Pilate asked Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?” “You have said so,” Jesus replied.”
Jesus fully cooperated when He was apprehended by the Roman authorities. He knew what would happen, and He was prepared. His mind was free to look around and notice someone else’s need. He continued to make life better for the people around Him until He drew His last breath. Here is a list of things He did while on trial and even while dying on the cross:
* He healed someone’s ear (Luke 22:49-51);
* He made arrangements for His mother’s continued care (John 19:25-27);
* He consoled the person crucified next to Him (Luke 23:42-43);
Trying to make sense of a bad situation, we may throw a pity party, or even get angry. All these kinds of reactions are understandable, but they are a waste of our time and energy. Jesus inspires us to take a different approach.
The 2020 outbreak of a virus has wreaked havoc on every continent of this planet. A lot of people have been suffering from lock down and the resulting economic downturn. These are trying times that bring out the worst and the best in us. Jesus helps us to look beyond our personal pain and be a friend to someone in need. We suffer together and together we fight the disease. On the other side of this nightmare we hope that this extraordinary crisis forges a world community that we forgot we had all along.