Can Suffering be Beautiful?
In the 1st century, when someone was born with an illness or condition, it was thought that the person did something to offend God. Today, in the 20th century, our response is often to be offended at God. However, neither of these responses actually stem from the truth for today. Today, our suffering serves a purpose that is to display the works of God and bring Him glory. It may sound like an oxymoron but bear with me.
John 9:1-7 tells the story of a man who was born blind. Jesus' disciples ask Him what the man did wrong or what his parents did wrong that caused him to be born without sight. However, Jesus dispells that lie with truth saying, "Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him". After he spoke, he spit on the ground, made some mud, and put it on the man's eyes. Jesus said, "Go, wash in the pool of Siloam. So the man went and washed, and came home seeing".
It was because of the man's blindness that Jesus could display His power and heal him.
Similarly, the beautiful fall leaves are changing colors. They are breathtaking. Yet, the reality is they are beautiful with color because they are dying. Yep. The reason the leaves change their color (very beautifully I might add) is because they are dying.
So, the "suffering" of these leaves brings us to gaze in awe. I think that's how suffering is meant to be. Of course, there is a time to mourn--yes. However, even in the midst of unbearable suffering, Jesus can shine beautifully.
It may not always be beautiful, and winter may come when the trees are bare and limp. Yet, spring comes again soon, and new flowers will bloom.
In God's eyes, suffering is not eternal. It may seem that way, but there is an end. Seasons change. Jesus promises to one day wipe every last tear from our eyes (Revelation 21:4).
So, even in the midst of your own suffering or sadness, there can be beauty. Keep your eyes and heart opened...and, who knows, maybe one day you'll notice the leaves have changed...and are, in fact, beautiful.