Life and Necessary Suffering

I have been reading Richard Rohr’s Falling Upward. Below is a quote from a chapter titled “Necessary Suffering” in which he writes about the important role suffering plays in our spiritual formation.

“Necessary suffering goes on every day, seemingly without question.  As write this in the deserts of Arizona, I just read that only one saguaro cactus seed out of a quarter million seeds ever makes it to even early maturity, and even fewer after that. Most of nature seems to totally accept major loss, gross inefficiency, mass extinctions, and short life spans as the price of life at all.”

I wonder if our refusal to accept suffering as normal and valuable has some connection to the general lack of value we seem to place on life.  If we, like Rohr says that nature does, accept that suffering is the price of life, I wonder if we would be forced to ask, “if this is the price of life, am I willing to pay it?” and when we hopefully answer affirmatively, will we begin to understand how precious life is? Would we value it more deeply?  Would we seek after life, the abundant life promised by Jesus, with more intention and vigor?

“For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.” -Matthew 16:25

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One Response to Life and Necessary Suffering

  1. Bill Feffer says:

    Without suffering the crucible, gold is not refined. God says, Isaiah 48:10 (NASB) “Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.

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