When You Suffer is a refreshing look at the mystery of pain and suffering and how to find meaning and even joy in the midst of it. Jeff Cavins discusses why we suffer and how our suffering can draw us closer to God. He explains that suffering is the greatest opportunity to love as Christ loves and how, by “offering up” our suffering, we join in Christ’s mission to redeem the world.Lent does seem like the perfect time to read this book, especially as we draw closer to Holy Week. Reading a book about suffering, though, isn't normally my cup of tea. But all it took was the first chapter for me to change my mind.
By comparing an ideal day to a real day, Cavins reminded me that suffering often isn't on the grand scale of experiencing an earthquake. Plenty of small things add up to suffering in everyday life. None of us escape it. He uses that as a springboard to compare the classical idea of happiness (living as a good person) to the modern idea (feeling good). From there he examines the different types of suffering (physical, moral, etc.)
Our "ideal day" isn't ever going to happen because real life is messier than our dreams. So how do we live real life with meaning and even joy?
That's just the first chapter but the stage is set for us to discover more. It's all written in a personable, practical way that is easy to understand.
I can't wait for the rest of the book but since I've got a tall "to read" stack ahead of this, I wanted to give you a heads up on this one.