Every day I hear of suffering and the death of people who woke up that day and were not expecting to experience the unjust suffering and death that came upon them. This is so hard and the feeling that is most prevalent in me is helplessness. I do not feel guilty about the goodness I am currently experiencing while another suffers. But I do feel the pain of their suffering.
I do find that there is a place in a relationship with God in which a deep abiding trust in the goodness of God and the provision of God and the abundance of God and the protection of God is an appropriate expression of faith. It is a posture for living that I fully embrace as I intentionally choose to not live in the space of the opposite. I have not been freed from my own suffering (and I do not consider this to be great suffering), but with my wife Lyn we do enjoy the favor of God and for this I am grateful. Our hearts are continually moved into prayer for these situations and sometimes this offering feels so feeble.
There is a great deal of suffering in our world that God gets blamed for, whether this is a natural disaster or human evil. God created the world a certain way and He created us a certain way to live in this world with God. Humanity has spurned a life with God and chosen a life of creating ourself as god separate from the God who created us in the image of God.
godness without the living God is a disaster waiting to happen.
And so it does, over and over every day. We shake our fists at God, blaming Him for this evil that is of our own doing. And sometimes this evil happens to people who are completely innocent! This feels so unjust and it is.
The pain that arises from this suffering is so great. A small part of me asks, “Why God? Why did You allow this?” But a bigger part of me asks “Why do we keep doing the same things the same way and yet hope for something different?”
God’s miraculous response to evil is to enter into it and suffer with His creation. God chooses to become human and submits to the mess we have created, even to the point of death. The good news is that God overcomes the evil of this world through the resurrection.
And the invitation of God is to do as God has done.
Made in the image of God, we can also do as God does.
Jesus says, “Come, follow me. This is the way. Come and die.”
One thought on “Suffering”
Excellent work, Paul! Well stated.
Sent from my iPhone