Spiritual and relationship expert, teacher, counselor, advisor, speaker, and writer James Gray Robinson

All of the Suffering May Be Worth It

            I read an old Hindu story a few days ago that bears repeating. There once was a “Raja” (king) that wanted to go see his kingdom. He sought out his court physician to go with him to see the state of his subjects. While he was touring his kingdom, he got a splinter in his finger. He held his finger out to his physician and ordered him to get it out. The physician cut open his finger and removed the splinter. This surprised the raja, and having a very short temper, he started beating the physician, chasing him and shouting at him. The physician, fearful of his life, jumped into a well. The Raja looked down at the physician and screamed at him that he would not be saved, and that he would die at the bottom of that well.

            The Raja then went off back towards his palace. The Raja was captured by a band of thieves and outlaws. This band was well known for killing anyone that they captured as a sacrifice to the gods. However, if the victim had an open wound, they would not kill him, they would just beat them severely and warn them not to return. When they saw the cut on the Raja’s hand, they decided not to kill him but to beat him soundly. They then stripped the Raja and left him naked on the side of the road.

            The Raja stumbled back to the well, and asked how his physician was doing. The physician replied that he was cold and hungry. The Raja lowered the bucket down to his physician and pulled him up. The physician saw the Raja’s injuries from his beating and treated his wounds. The Raja finally told the physician what had happened and that he was sorry that he had left the physician in the well. The physician replied that it was fine, because if he had gone with the Raja, the band of outlaws would have killed him. So the cut in the Raja’s hand saved his life, and the trip to the bottom of the well saved the physician’s life.

            When we are going through hard times, the metaphorical “bottom of the well”, we never know what the big picture is. We may never know that we are actually being saved from other fates that may befall us. Even though we think that life is unfair and hard, we may be the lucky ones who are being saved by forces, guardian angels, or just providence from worst. We may never know what we were saved from or we may not find out until much later. We may find out that the person we were madly in love with but broke up with was actually a very mean person that would have made our life miserable. We may find out that the job we lost or didn’t get was involved in illegal activities that landed someone in jail. We just never know.

            So even when we are suffering and thinking that we are going through the worst of times, we may be spared from something worse. Never say things can’t get any worse, because they always can. Be grateful for what you have, what you are experiencing and know that no matter what is happening, it is for our higher good.