In its essence, suffering, like the roaring thunder, praises and glorifies God. Initially, our pain brings with it fear that might throw us into a chaotic narrative… the chaos of a life-threatening diagnosis or a life-altering illness, the chaos of cancer, depression, autoimmunity, fibromyalgia, or chronic pain… a chaos that forces us to press a pause or even a stop button on our lives…
But, what if we pause and listen? What if we try to decipher the message our body is sending us? If we listen carefully, we will hear our suffering opening the door for spiritual insight, a door that will take us closer to God. We will hear our suffering praising our Lord.
The Thunder chapter (Surat Ar-Ra’d) challenges our belief about the dichotomy of good and evil. To discern the wisdom in our trials, we need to challenge this modern cognitive frame. We need to stop judging evil solely on the basis of it not serving an immediate interest or pleasure. Likewise, healing should not be reduced to curing the illness. Healing means becoming whole again, becoming at peace with oneself, the world, and the Divine.
Healing entails finding meaning and purpose that is bigger than ourselves and bigger than our suffering. It entails bringing all who we are, body, mind, heart, and soul into a relationship with the Divine. As physical suffering is drawing us towards a bigger life meaning and purpose, to a vocation and a calling, in reality, it is drawing us towards God. To find our calling, we need to know ourselves; and to know ourselves, we need to know God. Such knowledge allows us to understand the interconnectedness of all things around us and within us and the relationship to and ultimate dependence of this amazing web on its One and Only Creator.
Listen to the inspiring story of Ali Banat: Gifted with Cancer, May God bless his soul.