Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Daily Bread: Suffering

For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:  And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:  Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.  Job 19:25- 27

Pain and suffering are part of life.  I don’t mean that in a morbid or depressing way.  I just mean to state it as a fact.  Our physical bodies have limitations.  This life is full of upsets, disappointments, and hurts.  These things are not anomalies.  They are not rare occurrences.  They happen everyday.

So maybe we should just accept that bad things happen.  That way, when they do happen, we don’t start wondering why.  Why me?  What did I do to deserve this?  Am I being punished?  Perhaps we should just accept that sometimes the car will break down or the money will be tight (or nonexistent), that unemployment may come, that relationships will end, that people will pass away.

Then maybe we can move away from thinking that these things happen because we did something wrong.  Or that things are happening to us because we have bad luck.  Or that these things are happening to us because God is mad at us, so we therefore become mad at God.  No.  These occurrences are just part of life.  And  they only have as much power as we give them.  It is our job, as people of faith, to rise above the suffering, and keep our eyes on God.

Being a child of God does not mean that we will not suffer.  But it does mean that we focus on God in response to our suffering.  Rather than destroy our own peace of mind, by replaying the hurt or the disappointment, or feeling sorry for ourselves, we focus our energy on the One who can deliver us.  This is much easier said than done.  I mean when the money is low, and there is no job on the horizon, and you have no idea what your move will be, its not going to be easy to sing songs of praise.  But that’s why its important to work daily on strengthening your relationship with God.  If you don’t pray and praise in the good times, it will be that much harder to do it in the bad times.

I’ve noticed that this is a particularly difficult concept for people who are non-believers.  They can’t understand telling someone to thank God and praise Him when things are going wrong.  But that is because they are focused on the cause and effect of the situation itself.  I don’t have a quid pro quo relationship with God.  He blesses me when I haven’t done anything to deserve being blessed.  He has brought me out of countless situations and circumstances.  He has shown me a way when I couldn’t see one for myself.  And because I know He’s done it before, I know He will do it again.  I don’t have to know when my deliverance will come because  I know that I will be delivered.  I know that my Redeemer lives.  I know that God is not some random, uncaring, deity that haphazardly inflicts punishment on humanity.  I know that everything I go through has a purpose, is strengthening me for some future battle.  No matter what I go through, I know for myself that when it is all over, I will look back and I will see God in the situation.  So while I’m going through it, I will keep my eyes on Him, trusting that it is all for good. --Lady S.

No comments:

Post a Comment