In her blog on the website Inward Outward, Kayla McClurg gives a poetic explanation of our suffering:
“Even with all that ended up happening, all that one could say went horribly off track for Jesus—betrayal, wrongful arrest, torture, a violent death—he was able to see his life, with all that was being given, as blessing. This is not to say that betrayal and death and violence come from God, as though the One whose very being is love could pre-ordain savagery or catastrophic loss. But within the embrace of eternal love, in the surround sound of the three-in-one, all things are redeemed in the spacious heart of God. Even betrayal, even violence, even catastrophe. All that happens, whether we would name it bad or good, ultimately reveals to us a truth hidden at the heart of all things—which is that everything begins and ends in love.
“To deepen into this truth requires the help of an Advocate, an inner witness to help us discern the meaning of our sorrow, our longing and hope. Despite the depth of their love, sorrow filled the hearts of his disciples, as it also shadows us today. But in the fire of truth and the wind of the Spirit, even losses can be sent flying, ash by ash, into the larger love. Concepts like “sin” and “righteousness” and “judgment” mean little until they are clarified and put into the context of our own experiences. Little by little, layer by layer, the Advocate listens to our questions, our doubts, our wonder, and helps us accept the painful, joyful stabs of recognition. In incremental revelations, the Advocate teaches the truth to all who are hungry to receive truth. At the table of this inner teacher, we are fed.”
Living as Apprentices of Jesus requires the willingness to be open to the truth of our lives and the meaning of our experiences. The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, helps us do that. The first meaning of the word “advocate” is “a person who speaks in support or defense of a person or cause.” The second meaning is “a person who pleads for or in behalf of another; an intercessor who pleads the cause of another. ” The Holy Spirit advocates on our behalf to God and advocates for Jesus’ cause to us. Believing that the Holy Spirit is a person who is working constantly for our good puts a high priory on our relationship with Him.