Recently, I had a brief conversation with a friend about the struggles and joys of life. The reality of a life long lived is that it is often filled with suffering and happiness. We can and should take solace in the understanding that suffering simply cannot be avoided and look forward to happiness as a grand gift of consolation from God.
The true measure of our faith and the depth of our character can be seen, not in times of joy, but in the times of our greatest struggles. In these times of heavy burden we are given an beautiful opportunity to unite ourselves to Christ and the Cross. This union to the cross of Christ in turn becomes a period of purgation that cleanses our souls in preparation a perfect union with Jesus in heaven.
It is when we are struggling that we are truly a reflection of our union with Christ to those who observe us. As Christians, we are directed to be joyful even when we carry our crosses. Joyful periods of momentary bliss present us a future opportunity to remember and be thankful even when we feel like our world has collapsed in on us.
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. (Romans 12:12)
Hope focused in Divine Providence, in my humble opinion, is THE reason to continue marching forward toward the promised land. Like the Hebrews, our short time here can be a desert or a land filled with milk and honey. During our life most of us spend time in both places. We alternate between the struggle and joy and some suffering souls spend more time in the desert.
In giving glory to God, we can look for and find joy in the knowledge that God is good and wants us united with Him in Heaven for all eternity.
JMJ, pray for us.