Joseph asked his father, “Why does God allow painful trials? Does he want us to suffer? Doesn’t he want us to rejoice and be cheerful?”
His father answered, “God has created us to be happy, offering us everything. But as we misuse the easy life full of blessings and void of distress, he permits us to have some pain at times so that he can raise our hearts to an eternal life glorious and full of joy.
“How?” asked Joseph.
The father said, “I’ll tell you a famous Greek story:
Antigonus noticed that a soldier full of zeal and courage chose in every battle the most dangerous locations to fight. His behavior used to enkindle his colleagues and superiors with serious strength. Antigonus admired the soldier whom he summoned, thanked and revealed to him his gratitude for his loyalty to his country. The soldier said, “I love my country and desire to die for its sake.”
Antigonus asked if the soldier desired something. The soldier thanked him without asking for anything. At the end, the soldier said that he was seriously ill and was expecting his death between one day and another since he had severe pains. His pains pushed him to get involved in the battles without any fear of death, which he expected fast.
Antigonus introduced the soldier to one of the clever physicians. After a few months, a battle started but Antigonus noticed the disappearance of the soldier from it. After they achieved victory, Antigonus inquired about the soldier thinking he might have died. He was told that the soldier did not die but was completely healed by the physician. After his treatment, he became very concerned about his health, family and his comfort. He avoided taking part in battles.
Antigonus was sad for the soldier whose pains used to fill him with courage but when he was healed, he lost his courage.
I welcome all pains that You allow me O God.
I am happy with pains.
It is my treasury of love to You.
It is my support in my strange life.
My pains are my glory as long as You bear them with me.
It is through them that I like to talk with You.
I welcome the pains, which open the doors of heaven for me.
It is through them that I enjoy the partnership of Your agony,
Share the power of Your crucifixion and enjoy the power of Your resurrection.
An Agreement to Disagreement
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