The Holy Week got over a couple of weeks ago. Throughout the seven days, we remember many of the major events which took place during the last few days of Jesus’ earthly life. These days are a roller-coaster ride when it comes to emotions and feelings they invoke. From the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, to the touching act of washing His disciples’ feet and having the last meal with them on Maundy Thursday, to the sorrow of death of Jesus – the Messiah – on Good Friday and finally the victorious Resurrection on Easter Sunday which fills us with everlasting hope and joy. But have you ever wondered what makes the joy of Easter so meaningful, so memorable and so precious? I believe it’s the sadness of Good Friday which precedes it.
You must be wondering why am I telling you all this. Well, during the lent, I took a commitment to memorize one Bible verse each day and throughout the 40 days I could see God speaking to me amazingly through the scriptures. And one of the verses I came across, which spoke to me strongly was: “Happy are those who patiently endure trials, because afterwards they will receive the crown of life which the Lord promised to those who love Him.” – James 1:12. Within a few days of I reading this verse, I came across many who were suffering: an office colleague who fell ill, a friend who lost his family member, problems in my own family...... But this verse acted as a consolation to many.
What struck me most about the verse was the word ‘afterwards’. It clearly pointed out that it is ‘afterwards’ that we receive the crown of life. Many a times in our lives we come across problems, trials, failures, sickness, sufferings. When we are going through it, it is the most painful experience for us, but when it’s over we look back and see the purpose behind it, we understand that it all happened for a reason.
It reminds me of an eaglet learning how to fly. When the right time comes, its mother makes the nest uncomfortable, shakes it and drops the eaglet from a great height. It falls down helplessly towards the earth, but just before it is about to crash, the mother comes and lifts it up and after soaring high, drops it again. This process goes on and on, till the eaglet finally learns how to fly. During the process, the eaglet would be shocked to see how such a loving mother could become so cruel, it would be afraid, scared, pained at what’s happening to it. But once it’s over, the eaglet will realize that it all happened for a reason. Similarly, a grain of wheat, when it falls on the ground and dies, only then does it give birth to another sapling which brings forth many more grains.
From my own personal experience, I’ve understood that all sufferings are a blessing in disguise. During my first eighteen years of life, I had gone through a lot; I spent many days and nights asking God why did I have to face all these problems, pain, suffering. But now, when I look back, I thank God for all those sufferings, because that made me what I’m today, and that made me realize the amazing love I experience from Him and my family. I understand now that it all happened for a reason.
No matter what problems come in our life, no matter how hard our life can become, no matter how much of pain and suffering we have to go through, no matter if we come across failures more often in our lives, no matter if things don’t go as per our plans, no matter if we face issues in our family, at work, with friends; lets realize that it all happens for a reason and that afterwards we would understand the purpose behind it. So, what do we do when we go through it? We should ‘patiently endure’, trusting in God’s plan for us, knowing that God, our Heavenly Father, knows what’s best for us.
Let’s not forget that before the joy of Easter, comes the sorrow, the pain and the loss of Good Friday. And just like Easter, let’s believe and experience that though the sorrows may last for the night, but His joy comes with the morning!! (Psalm 30:5)
Yahweh says, “I will turn their mourning into gladness. I will give them comfort and joy for their sorrows.” (Jeremiah 31:13)