January 31

Lord, I Know You Gave Me This Stomachache

If you have absolute faith, you will always be happy and joyful even in the midst of suffering. You may have severe handicaps, but you can still be joyful.

When Tirunavukarasar, one of the well-known Saiva saints, was suffering from a stomachache, he said, “Lord, I know You gave me this stomachache. I don’t know what I did to deserve it. Certainly I did something; but I don’t remember what it is. Maybe it was even in a previous birth. But one thing I do know: You want me to trust You completely. Probably this is the only way You can make me do that. You are very kind to make me think of You. If You didn’t love me, why would You even bother to give me this problem? You wouldn’t even be thinking of me. The very fact that You thought of me makes me happy; because this has made me remember to think of You. When I experience pleasure, I may forget You; but when I experience pain, I can never forget You.

“I’m not asking You to get rid of it right away. Please just give me strength and continue to give me this problem until I completely purge out my karma. I know You are merciful. You want to bring out the beauty, the pure part of me, so You are simply rubbing and scrubbing me. It hurts sometimes, but I know that You would not unnecessarily hurt me. If there were another more simple way, You would certainly have done it that way. Probably my problem is too tough. So go ahead; do what You must. All I request is that You give me the strength and the understanding to accept it.”

What a beautiful prayer. With this kind of approach, we can face any problem in life. Nothing will shake us, whether it is physical or mental, caused by people or caused by nature. We just need to have that absolute faith.

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