Uncovering Christianity: Exploring The Roots Of The West #2 – Reflection, Suffering, And The Power Of Love

Before we begin this week’s piece, I would like to add a little tidbit about it. Prior to last night (Monday night) I had already written a piece for this week and had begun a new one for publication next week. However, when I was writing part of next week’s edition, I found that what I was writing could be its own individual part, and from that paragraph (which is the paragraph directly after the first Bible Verse quoted in this piece), this piece was born. I was originally going to publish the previously written piece last night, but I decided against it, and this came about late last night and into the early hours of this morning. I am not exactly certain what inspired it, what inspired me, but I think it may have been God once again working in His mysterious ways. I think there is a reason God wanted me to write and publish this piece instead, and I hope it will reveal itself soon.

I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I loved writing it.

Throughout our lives in the Western world, we find ourselves experiencing times of suffering and times of reflection. At times, we are also blessed to feel the power of love in our lives, that remarkable thing that is often beyond description, at least from our human perspective. It is something that has the power to bring people together, to bind one person with another, to change lives, to enflame the heart and soul and fill us with the greatest joy. These three things: suffering, reflection, and love, are essential to humanity, and to a stable society. So, let’s explore them a little more in depth.

When God created man and woman, He created them for each other, so that they may join together as one and create a family (we will look at family in the next edition of this series).

There is a verse from the book of Genesis, 2:24 that says:

That is why a man leaves his father and mother and becomes attached to his wife, and they become one flesh.

Essentially, when a man finds a wife, he would leave the loving care of his mother and father and become one with the woman he marries. Their hearts and souls would be united. It is quite a beautiful thing to think about, the joining of two hearts and souls as one. It is as if each of us as individuals possesses one half of a heart and one half of a soul, yearning to find their counterparts, their other halves. We go on a journey in our life to find the missing piece of our own internal puzzle, that piece that without which we are lost, not our best selves, not enough. But when we find it, it completes us, enlivening our lives, and a bright light bursts forward from within the deepest confines of our very soul. I like to think that two souls that are meant to be together will attract to each other, almost like they have a magnetism to them, at the perfect time.

While sometimes it may be hard to believe that there is a perfect time, it does indeed exist, just not in the way we think. It is important to understand nothing in this world is perfect. We are all human, we all have flaws. But that should not bring us down. Rather, it should lift us up. We should be grateful for our flaws, because they make us unique. If the world was made up of people who were all the same, this would be a very dull existence. God made us all in His image, but each one of us was made in a different way, with different personalities, features, gifts, ambitions, and, of course, imperfections. But that is where perfection lies, in our imperfections. Our imperfections are what gives us our edge, what allows us to stand out from the crowd.

In reality, there is no perfect time for anything, at least not in the human sense. But God’s timing is perfect. Even though at times it may seem as if God’s timing is wrong, it is always right. That timing may impact us in our deepest, darkest moments, but there is always a reason for it. It may be that we are pursuing a dream of ours, and something comes about that stops it short, putting us on a different path. We may not be pleased upon the initial occurrence of this change in our life, but, in time, we may see just why our path was changed. For it may just be that this new path leads us to something even greater than that which we were pursuing. This new path may lead us to meet someone who changes our life, and who we discover is the piece of the puzzle we have been missing. It is at such a point in our lives that we would look back and reflect on how we came to find this incredible person. And that is where we realise that if it had not been for the sudden and at first unwanted change in the direction of our life, we would have never found that person, that amazing human being that would change our life forever. That right there is God’s timing, and it is truly beyond words.

I often reflect back on my own life thus far these days, particularly on the last two or so years. For as long as I can remember, I have been an avid reader, and that love of books and stories turned into a passion for writing stories of my own. By the time I hit Year 9 in high school, I knew without a doubt that I wanted to turn that passion for writing into a career. After I graduated high school, I decided to take a year to figure out what area of writing I wanted to journey into. I had, for years, dreamed of writing a novel, something I still aspire to do today. But I had developed a penchant for politics, so I decided it might be better to go into journalism. I tossed up journalism and creative writing for a while, until I ended up deciding to study both. In the first half of 2019, my life was nothing short of a living nightmare. Dealing with the harsh return of my anxiety, I could not cope with study just yet, so I delayed from March to May. It took me some time, but I finally decided to seek help, and with the aid of a counsellor I got better. After a few more promising months, an assessment led to increased stress, and once again to increased anxiety. After another month or so, it had receded somewhat, only to be brought back on in the first half of 2020. After the passing of my pop, and the period of isolation that followed upon the arrival of COVID-19, I was in a pretty bad way again. Even after seeing a doctor, being put on medication, and starting psychology, it was still months before I really felt like I was back to myself.

It was not until about mid-September 2020 that I felt alive again. It was around this time that I became acquainted with someone new and like-minded, finding myself enthralled at this connection. Over the months to come, I learnt more that seemed too good to be true. It was either one of the most astounding coincidences, or God’s timing. I truly believe it was the latter. And I thank God for it, because without it, I would not have been able to see why I needed to go through all the pain and suffering I endured. I would not have been able to see why things happened the way they did. And I would not have found myself walking a different path that would truly change my life. If it were not for God’s timing, and the connection He brought into my life, I would not be where I am today. I would not be writing this. I have nothing but gratitude and awe for what God brought into my life.

See, that is how deep God’s love is for us. Yes, we go through times of hardship, times of great pain and suffering, but so did Jesus. Jesus, in the ultimate act of sacrifice and love, equal only to that of God the Father’s act of sacrifice and love (giving His Only Son so that we may have eternal life), went to His death upon the Cross, so that we would be saved from sin and be able to spend eternal life in paradise in the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus suffered greatly in the lead up to His crucifixion, but He did so out of love for us. God the Father sent His Only Son down to Earth to live amongst us and die upon the Cross out of love for His people.

When we suffer, we may not know why this is happening to us at the time. But, in time, the reason for our suffering will reveal itself to us. Indeed, pain lets us know that we are human. Without it, we would be unable to measure the goodness, the happiness in our lives. We cannot merely do away with pain for the sake of pursuing some utopia in our lives with only the good. If we were to do that, we would eventually lose sight of what is good and what is not. And, most tragically of all, we would struggle to comprehend love.

Pain is a necessary part of life. But it does not have to be a burden. Rather, it is a learning curve, albeit we often do not realise this until some time later. From pain comes love, from darkness comes light. Within my life, I have found a ray of light that has guided me out of the dark abyss I was lost in for the greater part of two years. I hope that each and every one of you who reads this will also find that light in your lives if you have not already. No matter what you are going through, trust in God and He will guide you through it. For God Himself is love, He is light, and He is the way.

To finish, I would like to share (although I have done so before in a different piece) my favourite Bible Verse, one that I keep close to my heart each and every day of my life:

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

1 Corinthians 13:6-8, 13

This is the second Part of a Series entitled Uncovering Christianity: Exploring the Roots of the West. This series explores the values and ideas originating from Christianity, looking back at Biblical times, and relating them to the modern world. There are central themes to each piece in this series, with key messages throughout to guide you in your own life. The series also looks at some of the threats to the roots of Western Civilization and discusses what can be done to placate them and protect the foundation of society. Keep an eye out for new series pieces each week.

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