We all suffer for different reasons and at different times in our lives. Suffering is simply part of being human. Suffering allows the eyes to see and know the bitter from the sweet. It helps us appreciate the good things of life in a much deeper way. Still, suffering isn't fun. During those difficult times we yearn to know peace. It is there. With just a little effort you can have peace during your times of suffering. Here are a few ideas that may be helpful.
1. Reach out to someone
A grandmother shared what helped her as she was suffering through the death of a grandchild. She said, "Our suffering was real and deep because of the love we have for this precious child. One day I was feeling so sad I thought I must do something to pull myself out of this feeling. I thought of an elderly neighbor who is on hospice care. She is in the process of dying. I decided to visit her. That may seem odd when you consider I was trying to come to grips with the death of a loved one, but it felt right, so I did it. What a blessing that visit was, not just to her, but to me. Her optimistic outlook on death was inspiring. She lifted me."
This example shows that we can find peace by reaching out to others.
2. Get outside and see the beauty of the world
We have been blessed with a beautiful world. When we are down in spirit we can be renewed by walking out the door and breathing in the beauty found right in our neighborhoods. In the fall the many colors can distract us from our suffering. No matter the season, outside is full of surprising breaths of fresh air to our lungs and to our minds.
Suffering is lessened when we see the beauty around us. Breathe it in and you will be refreshed. Whether it's a ray of sunshine you feel on your cheeks or the splash of raindrops on your umbrella, you can feel more peaceful by spending a few minutes outside. If you live near the ocean spend some time listening to the waves roll in. The repetition is soothing to the soul. Find a spot wherever you live that will take you away from your suffering, at least for a time.
God pleads with us to pray. He wants us to talk to Him. Pouring out our sorrows to the very One who created us is peace producing all on its own. Sometimes we need to say the words out loud. It's a way of relieving our stress. We know God knows what we need but asking Him for the help we need seems to be our part of the process. We need to pray.
In the Bible, Psalms 55:22, we are told, "Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you." So there you have it. Ask for His help and He will be with you and sustain you.
4. Remember what Jesus has done for you
Remembering the glorious gift the Savior has given you can bring greater peace more than anything else in this world. He taught us how to live the most peaceful life possible, and then He gave up His life for us on the cross that we might live again with Him. His whole purpose is to bring us peace. He is called the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). Seek Him diligently and you will find the peace you yearn for. When you contemplate His suffering, which He did because He loves you, then you will know how much He cares. He will be with you and will bless you through all your mortal sufferings.
5. Listen to music that uplifts your spirit
Suffering can be made lighter by listening to uplifting music. According Dr. T. Jared Bunch, a heart specialist, "Our bodies and minds recognize the presence of music immediately. When people listen to music, their heart rate increases compared to those who remain in silence. The increase may be very small when listening to calming, peaceful music or quite high when listening to exciting music. The beat seems to integrate itself into our subconscious minds, and our heart responds. We even breathe slightly more rapidly when we're initially exposed to all kinds of music."
Consider making a playlist of the music you enjoy most. Play it when you need a lift. Your suffering will most likely be relieved.
Finally, take a few minutes and listen to this song. Close your eyes and contemplate the beauty of the words and music. It will help you find peace as you "Take Time to Be Holy."