I read with interest last week a news article concerning the owner of the Golden State Warriors. Even though his team has just won their 3rd NBA title in four years, his son stated that his father would enjoy it for about 5 minutes and the begin preparations for the next one. 5 minutes!!
His players spoke of all the private suffering and sacrifice that made this championship the most special of all they has won. The affliction had caused them to dig deep to make the journey even more meaningful.
Psalm 119 states that it was good to be afflicted, for it made the writer trust in what God teaches us about this life. I don't like it when suffering occurs to me, and I certainly don't dance and rejoice when it happens.
Death, suffering, emotional pain, dark days, yuck! But it never was what God intended for His people. We have found out that thorough Adam and Eve and our choices what it means to "be as God". But affliction can serve a purpose: to see the folly of rejecting Him. This broken world offers only temporary pleasure, nothing more.
Suffering can help us daily keep the eyes on the prize: Eternity and perfection. God is preparing me for that eventuality each day, as he keep working slowly and methodically making me more like Jesus. I will never fully achieve that in this life, but it makes the end game even more powerful: knowing I will be!
So spend more than 5 minutes celebrating a temporary prize, such as the Golden State Warriors owner does. Suffering still hurts, but it does not win in the end. A prize awaits that is never ending! Find comfort in that today.