Whenever we encounter physical suffering, our natural reaction might be to ask God for a cure. As this may be in the plan of God divine, another option is just to simply ask God for an increase in love and courage, offering the pain as a sacrifice to God.

Brother Lawrence, who is a Carmelite monk of the 17th century, advised a friend in one of his letters not to ask God for a cure.

I told you, that [God] sometimes allows bodily diseases to cure the distempers of the soul. Therefore, have courage and make a virtue of necessity [and] ask of God, not actually deliverance from your pains, but strength to bear resolutely, for the love of him, all that pleases him, and as long as he shall please.

Furthermore, he says, “ Love sweetens pains and when we love God, we suffer for his sake with joy and courage because, he is the Father of the afflicted, always ready to help us. He loves us infinitely more than we can imagine. Ensure you love him then, and do not seek consolation elsewhere.”

This spiritual cross is not easy to bear, especially when we are in the midst of suffering. Most times, we want our suffering to go away and do all we can to make that happen.

But, sometimes God may want to use that suffering to mark out an area in our life where we need spiritual mending.

And this is a difficult medicine to swallow, but one that can create the way for our ultimate happiness with God in heaven.

Various saints throughout history have derived joy in suffering, thereby, offering up their pain and sorrow to God as a sacrifice of love.

Because, the more we love God, the more we can accept any trials that occur in our lives.

Whatever that might happen in our lives, let us try to accept everything as its coming from the hand of a merciful father, who wishes to bring us closer to him in a loving embrace. Our response should be to love God in return, even when the love hurts.

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