When women come together, there is typically a cause for celebration.

We can make a party out of most anything.

I hosted a gathering to honor the birth of a second child of a dear friend. It’s not a shower–that’s for first babies. I thought it was a sprinkle–a cute play on words for the birth of a second. But it was actually a “sip and see” because it happened after the baby was born.

There was food, fun, and lots of laughter, no matter what it was called.

The little guy is doing well now, but his entrance into the world was a bit dramatic. At ten pounds and 22 inches, getting him out was the challenge. But all the concerns of those first hours have evaporated to the reality of enjoying a healthy baby. His sister has been sick, and that’s been unsettling, but things are smoothing out and new rhythms are being established.

Things are fine. For the moment.

Isn’t that how it always is? We’re fine–until we’re not.

Look around the world, or better yet, at people you know and love. What’s happening in Ukraine is massive suffering–the senseless killing of innocents, the massive destruction of homes. But so many people today are experiencing pain, often hidden, because of circumstances over which we have no control. We hide pain and push through, often with negative consequences.

Pain and suffering are part of life, creating disappointment, despair, and discord. We each have strategies that work for a time, then they don’t. People get along for a while, then problems arise. Small issues grow out of control; misery drives our emotions and fears.

Why does there have to be so much pain?

We see it every day. The news is so full of despair and suffering that it becomes problematic to watch. People take sides on issues, and disagreements ensue that cause deep divisions.

Natural calamities are just as destructive: tornadoes, floods, and earthquakes.

From birth to death, why does everything have to hurt so much?

Many choose to blame God. They may not believe in Him, but if He really is a God of love, why does there have to be so much pain in the world? Criticism will fall somewhere. Why not blame it on a supernatural being no one can see?

Jesus reminded us that this life will be full of trials and challenges.

“I have told you all this so that you may have peace IN ME. Here on earth, you WILL HAVE many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

We’ve been offered help to deal with the difficulties of life. It’s in a personal relationship with Jesus who offers us the strength to deal with what seems insurmountable. His offer provides peace for the present, and a sense of calm in spite of the storms raging around us. And He offers courage for what is yet to come, so we won’t be overwhelmed.

Life will have its challenges; we don’t live in a perfect world. God didn’t create evil–He lets us choose our own path so we can choose His love.

Put it in perspective. We can choose to experience God’s love so pain and suffering don’t have to have the last word.

God will.

That’s worth celebrating.

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