A Father’s Hopes

Why am I suffering? I haven’t found an answer yet that completely satisfies and doesn’t lead to even more questions. But this much I do believe: tremendous good has come from my own pain. No matter how evil and pointless it seemed at the time.

Even so, it’s often been difficult for me to reconcile my suffering with my Heavenly Father’s goodness and professed love for me.

Chief Justice John Roberts spoke at his son’s graduation from middle school. The hard hopes this good and loving father expressed for his son give me some comfort and much needed perspective when reflecting on the hurt God has allowed in my own life so far:

“Now the commencement speaker will typically also wish you good luck and extend good wishes to you. I will not do that, and I’ll tell you why. From time to time in the years to come, I hope you will be treated unfairly, so that you will come to know the value of justice. I hope that you will suffer betrayal because that will teach you the importance of loyalty. Sorry to say, but I hope you will be lonely from time to time so that you don’t take friends for granted.

And when you lose, as you will from time to time, I hope every now and then, your opponent will gloat over your failure. It is a way for you to understand the importance of sportsmanship. I hope you’ll be ignored so you know the importance of listening to others, and I hope you will have just enough pain to learn compassion.

Whether I wish these things or not, they’re going to happen. And whether you benefit from them or not will depend upon your ability to see the message in your misfortunes.”