1. To feel pain or distress; sustain loss, injury, harm, or punishment.
2. To tolerate or endure evil, injury, pain, or death.
3. To appear at a disadvantage
So what is it to you? For some, it is having cancer, for others it is watching our loved ones die of cancer. One of the few things that everyone on this earth has in common is suffering. No man nor woman will make it from birth to their death without suffering in some fashion. So knowing this, why is it, at a time when we are suffering, do we feel all alone? Why is it that we wrap ourselves up in our suffering blanket and actually seek comfort in our solice? Are you the only one in the world who has not had a child, or are you the only one in the world who has had a child die, or maybe you are the only one who has ever had a heart attack? No, this is foolish. But it does not take away from the reality of our loneliness within our suffering. There are exceptions to the sufferers of this world, there are some who no matter how ill or how crippled they become they always have a smile for you, as if they are in on some big secret the rest of us are not privileged to know. If a child is born with a terminal disease and is in pain most of his or her childhood because of that disease, and pain is all they have ever known, do you think that child is aware that they are suffering, or do you see them still with the urge to play, and live.
The real bitter pill about suffering is this, no matter how big or how little the suffering we all must face, there is no answer as to why we must go through it. In the book of Job, it was never fully explained to him why he was made to suffer, and Job only gets everything back in the Disney version of the story, in the old text he never gets his family or his wealth back. There is little comfort, but then again, there is, in the statement that we are all part of a bigger plan, and that sometimes accepting Jesus and the blessings we were promised means we will be blessed with suffering and pain. The long short of it is this, someone, somewhere in this world will learn and become closer to God because of your pain, if not you. Your faith or someone you may have never met or will ever know will get closer to Christ in your suffering.
Because the reality is this, we are all closer to God and Jesus because of His suffering. Lets look at it a little closer. Jesus always knew his fate, he accepted it, I am not sure he looked forward to it, but he knew it was coming. He was beaten, chastised, spit upon, nailed to a cross by his hands and feet, and was hung until he died. In all biblical text, in all versions of the bible, and in all languages, it never refers to what Jesus did for us as suffering, it was we that labeled it that. Here is what I learned from this, just as Jesus knew he was born to suffer in order for us to receive His Glory, so must we suffer even just a little to achieve that Glory, the ends justify the means. And after all is said and done, after all is written about you, will you look back upon your life no matter what you go through, and not want to do it all over again if it means just one more person can go to Heaven because of you. Because we can all go to Heaven because of Him.