Hello to every reader. All physical and emotional suffering is a major challenge. However, it offers us valuable opportunities for learning to serve God in new, often unexpected ways. This can bring meaning to experiences that might otherwise make life seem pointless, or even soul-destroying. Sadness, anger and depression are a normal part of coming to terms with all kinds of loss. Ultimately, though, after working through them, we need to embrace, accept and live with our suffering, rather than believing we can only start living properly again if our difficulties are miraculously removed.

* Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer (Romans 12:12; NRSV).
* My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life (Psalm 119:50; NIV).
* …we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope (Romans 5:3-4; NIV).
* Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep (Romans 12:15; NRSV).

Without you,
Suffering has no meaning.

But with you
It can be transformative,
Even ecstatic, at times.

May it help me to understand
What others experience,
To reach out to them,
Comfort them,
Support them,
And pray for them
In joyful service.

I ask this in the name of your dear Son
Who died for us all.

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