There are things I can bear and things I cannot bear. I can bear many types of suffering: heat, sickness, etc. Physical suffering is often not so bad. I didn’t used to be able to bear sleeplessness, but I’m learning to. I’m learning to spend time with God when I’m short on sleep. I’m learning to get up earlier. Two things I cannot yet bear are lonliness and learning Japanese. When I can bear these things, it’s easy for me to praise God in them. When I cannot bear them, I think that I must escape them, and I cannot very well praise God in them. Some outreach-type stuff I also cannot cope with. It’s these things that I can’t cope with that I haven’t learned to count as joyful trials. We are to praise God in our trials and glorify Him in our suffering. As of yet, those are sufferings where I can’t seem to praise Him and gain the peace that surpasses all understanding. Shame and embarassment are still too much for me.
Often, the things I can bear are those where I can do nothing: like sickness, because I can’t make choices to make that go away. The only relief is through endurance. But if I can make choices to react morally better to a situation, or if I can, by my choices, make the situation itself better, I feel a sense of responsibility, and it is harder for me to bear up under the weight. Those things, like language learning, are hard for me to bear, because I feel like I could be reacting better. Not just in praising God, but in actually learning and using Japanese. I can beat myself up some when searching for a better way.