“I am now rejoicing in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh, I am completing what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church.” (Colossians 1:24-25)
Dear friends, I don’t want you to be in a sad mood when reading my reflections. That is not my intention. Rather I would like you to love more deeply and live more meaningfully by facing the wilderness of life, for none of us are exempt from suffering. Who doesn't know that life is painful? Who wants to see their loved ones suffer, and who wants the bleak reality of their loved ones passing away in deep pain? We all know that life is a sea of pain. When we accept that life is full of pain, it is no longer painful. The irony is that when we accept this hard fact, we may have joy in life.
After Kori’s funeral, whenever my friends and church members see me, they just don't know what to do and what to say to me. But I confess to you that going through this painful process, I learned how to love and how to be loved. Hearing bad news, at first, we were devastated. Passing through the storm Yun and I prayed together, "Lord! If it is the cup we have to go through, please give us the strength to endure it, not avoid it. And let us experience the depth of your love even in the valley of death!"
There are so many things that happen to us that we feel like the sky collapses and the earth sinks. However, the deeper the pain caused by hardship, disease, death, betrayal, and loneliness, the greater the love of God manifested in it. The pain purifies our soul. It is a paradox that despair and bitterness become the resources for purifying our souls deeply, and we begin to know the essence of love. Yes, no one likes suffering. However, if we learn how to love and to be loved through hardship and know how to be in solidarity with people in hardship, it will be a great blessing.