Summer is an excellent time to schedule repairs to a heating system. Even though I can’t quibble with that logic, I am hoping that the man whose job it is to pound on a large metal heating vent with a hammer, right outside my office window, will soon be done his work.

Some things that are necessary are unpleasant, yet they still must be endured.

It’s easier to put up with unpleasant things when we understand the point of them. I know I will be grateful for this work when winter comes and the office stays warm.

Sometimes it is harder to understand the point of things that we are given to endure. Sometimes there is no point to them. Things just happen. Bad things happen to good people, etc.

Whether it be illness, accidents, disharmony within families, or shocking world events, there is so much in our world that is not right or fair. Suffering is often hard to connect with any positive outcome or purpose.

I think that being able to accept that there are things for which we can see no point or purpose is in some way connected to our faith in God. I don’t see it as “God has some great purpose for your suffering,” but rather as, “I need to remember that there are many things, many important things, that are beyond my understanding and beyond my control.”

Fortunately that includes good things, along with the bad things.

Faith helps me appreciate that my own powerlessness lives right alongside my own preciousness as part of God’s creation.

May God’s blessings abound.

Nora

Nora Sanders is General Secretary of The United Church of Canada.  This message was originally sent to subscribers to the General Secretary's Letter, "Note from Nora." Add your name to receive "Note from Nora" by email.