Finding God in Times of Trial

Because he himself was tested through what he suffered,
he is able to help those who are being tested.
—Hebrews 2:18

All around the sick and all around the poor I see a special light which we do not have.
—Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati

During these times of trial, we may begin to feel that God has abandoned us in our suffering. When we are sick, lonely, anxious, or strained, it can be harder to see how God is present. But these readings are a reminder to us of a profound paradox: that in the midst of our suffering, God draws even closer to us. He shares in our most difficult experiences in a deep, intimate way.

Jesus willingly took on flesh for our sake, entering into all the mess and pain that accompanies our humanity, taking on death itself in order that He could destroy death forever and set us free from its grasp. Ultimately, He desires to heal us and set us free, but He allows us to experience suffering along the way as a means of growing closer to Him. If Jesus Himself did not spurn the Cross, then who are we to run from our own crosses? Alone, we cannot carry them, but He promises to stay alongside us, to help us when we are being tested.

In this Gospel reading, Simon’s mother-in-law is lying sick with a fever when Jesus enters the house:

He approached, grasped her hand, and helped her up.
Then the fever left her and she waited on them.
—Mark 1:31

After this encounter with Jesus, who met her in her suffering and understood more deeply than anyone else the pain she was experiencing, she arises and is made new. And the first thing she does is to serve the One who healed her. May we, too, allow Jesus to draw close to us in our most painful moments, and when we have encountered Him, let that experience change and restore us. When we have weathered the trials of our lives, let us turn back and serve God in praise and thanksgiving for all that He has done for us.


Image: Rembrandt, Christ Healing Peter’s Mother-in-Law / PD-US

Published by

Erin

Erin is a writer, editor, cradle Catholic, and incurable daydreamer. By day she works in book publishing; by night she teaches catechism to middle schoolers, volunteers with the Sisters of Life, watches every video of the Notre Dame marching band in existence, and becomes way too invested in March Madness. She has been involved with the Frassati Fellowship since moving to NYC in 2014.

2 thoughts on “Finding God in Times of Trial”

  1. This reflection gave me chills! In a good way. I have been reflecting and praying about uniting my own suffering with the sufferings of Jesus. How no matter what hardships I may be going through, when I unite myself to him, I can bear it because he is there with me. Such an important thing to remember!

    Liked by 2 people

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