An old friend showed up the other day. The meeting brought back memories, not all of them good. She was dressed in dark clothing, which I never liked. But long ago I learned not to judge by a mere appearance.
Seeing her walk toward me from a distance, quite frankly I thought about ducking down another street to avoid her. She always brings a bit of a depressing atmosphere initially.
But then I remembered our times past – how she stood by my side during some of my darkest days and turned them bright again. I remembered how her influence served to lead me to the Lord in times of trouble, how she stood by me as I groped my way through sorrow.
I felt a little ashamed of my first response to try and avoid her.
So I braced myself and smiled. I looked her right in the eyes and said, “It’s nice to see you. You always make my life better.”
She lifted her head and her eyes were the loveliest, softened blue – they seemed to look at me and know me deeply. My old friend smiled at my greeting and stood still.
Then she gently took my hand and we walked together toward Jesus.
Oh I’m sorry – I haven’t introduced you. Of course I’m sure you know her – maybe you try to avoid her also. But I promise you, if you meet her in the right circumstances, she is a good friend to have. You just have to get past her looks.
Please meet my dear friend … Suffering.
I Peter 4: 12 & 13: “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ.”
Philippians 3:10: “ … the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings …”
SUGGESTED READING: I PETER 4
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