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the worst before the best
"Why is light given to the toilers, and life to the bitter in spirit?" —Job 3:20
Sometimes we feel that "everything is going wrong." Job had reason to feel that way after the tragic deaths of his ten children, bankruptcy, and serious health problems. Job was so distressed that he wished he had never lived (Jb 3:3, 11, 16).
Jesus suffered more than anyone else has ever suffered. Before His brutal crucifixion and death, He suffered for years the pain of rejection and misunderstanding (see Lk 9:53-55). On the cross, Jesus cried out: "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" (Mt 27:46; Ps 22:2) Jesus felt that everything was going wrong.
When we feel that everything is going wrong, something wonderful is about to go right. It's darkest just before the dawn. "There is cause for rejoicing here. You may for a time have to suffer the distress of many trials; but this is so that your faith, which is more precious than the passing splendor of fire-tried gold, may by its genuineness lead to praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ appears" (1 Pt 1:6-7). When we suffer great trials, we have the opportunity to:
- grow in faith,
- become more holy,
- trust God more deeply (2 Cor 1:9), and
- express our unconditional love for our crucified Savior.
When we are going through the worst, we are on the threshold of the best. Therefore, rejoice "in the measure that you share Christ's sufferings" (1 Pt 4:13).
Prayer: Father, fill me with hope, especially when I am suffering.
Promise: "I should have lain down and been tranquil; had I slept, I should then have been at rest." —Jb 3:13
Praise: St. Therese suffered dark nights of doubt and trial only to enjoy the eternal joy of spending her "heaven doing good on earth."
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Richard L. Klug, April 10, 2002
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 18, 2002