We never have a problem at the Golden Retreat discussing the topic of suffering and how debilitating it is. When several hundreds of years of experience come together in one room, there is never a shortage! Collectively, we’ve pretty much seen it all. It’s not usually something we brag about, but we’ve all been there, so it seems like a good time to try to figure out what Paul meant by saying we are strong in our weaknesses to the point where we might boast about them.
We could easily conclude that the hardships and calamities of life make us weak, yet when we talk about our experiences we find a few surprising common threads in our stories. Some hardships were so great we never thought we’d have the strength to see them through. We marvel at the perseverance of others in the face of suffering, and find that most often our church family had a hand in seeing us through. And on the other side there is a new sense of compassion and empathy for those who are in similar circumstances.
Mighty Lord, you hold our hands and carry us through more than we could ever imagine. Help us use our newfound strength for the benefit of others who are suffering. Amen. — LGR