Pain is Inevitable; Suffering is Optional

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” Ecclesiastes 3:11 NIV

People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.” Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

An ugly bulb planted and it becomes a beautiful flower. The earrings I cherish came from a grain of sand that irritated an oyster. My son was created in darkness, labor pains and then he was born. A rainbow after the storm. The beloved savior, broken and dead and now he lives. We live! Extraordinarily beautiful!

A lovely friend and I had a conversation. Her 20-something son committed suicide over a year-and-a-half ago. She had it rough! Despair, agony, extreme sorrow and guilt were her companions from Christmas until lately. She still has days of pain and tears, which she shares with her friends, fellow sufferers and family. Her beauty is vulnerability. Sharing with others her journey of guilt, darkness and resolve. Picking up parenting duties of her little grandchildren her son left behind—with joy and pride. She is beautiful inside and out.

And God has promised to dry every tear and there will be no more pain, suffering and death in heaven. Beautiful. Beautiful in its time.

But we’re not there yet. Some things make no sense. “We see in a mirror darkly.” I grope for the mirror during baffling times.

God brings beauty from some of our most painful experiences. Addictions? Yes. Trauma? Yes. Death? Yes. In its time. In partnership.


Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. May we focus and try to see as our Father sees. May we behold him. Even in my friend’s suffering there was still something to hold and cherish. Bubbles and conversation with her family while washing the dishes, the joy and pride of her grandchild who drew a picture for her, a warm bowl of homemade soup with a listening friend, her horse and nature rides. “He has not left us as orphans.” May we see with our Father’s eyes and heart.


Dear Father,

We see the beauty of Jesus in his suffering, especially this time of year and We see eternity because your son lives. He lives in us. He keeps us from stumbling, grasping in the dark, giving up. Redeem our pain for your glory, for others.


Published by Barbara Hinther

Barbara Hinther author of Meditations and Encouragement for the Caregiver of a Loved One with Dementia and What About Me, God. Time to share what she has learned and hopefully, others will know they are not alone. This too, shall pass with beautiful, yet painful, lessons. Barbara lives in a rural town in Idaho where all is community. Bless everyone in the community for their support and their never-ending let’s pitch in attitude! She worked in marketing for over 30 years and volunteered with the Idaho Youth Ranch and St. Vincent’s de Paul Thrift Store. Then her hardest job ever was caring for her husband who died from Lewy body dementia and needed her full-time care. Feelings of abandonment were constant. Life was very difficult for a while, but love, faith and hope will overcome. Let the adventure continue!

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