Suffering

When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you.

Yet I am always with You; You hold me by my right hand.  You guide me with Your counsel, and afterward You will take me into glory.  Whome have I in heaven but You?  And earth has nothing I desire besides You.  My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.  Psalm 73:21-26.

I have some friends of mine who are facing a particularly bad situation.  Their daughter has an odd form of growth (I can’t remember the name since I was keyed in on his agony) which creates a cyst then dissolves the tissue and whatever is around it.  This little girls is gorgeous and full of life.

He loves her with an absolute passion but feels the anxiety and fear of any good father. 

The questions of  “Why God?  Why our child?  If You’re so powerful, why don’t you heal her?” have to occur to him and his wife, it’s only natural–even for righteous people.  Remember Job?

What does God feel about us being sick?  Why doesn’t He intervene?

So much of our lives is unpredictable, with very little we can do about such unknowns.  One factor remains the same no matter how we try to sidestep it:  good things happen to bad people, bad things happen to good people.  Skeptics abound who doubt our faith in Christ’s goodwill and continued existence.  Though I see their point, I also know from Scripture the reason many of us suffer not only from the trial of sickness but also anxiety, the latter which is usually self-inflicted.

I’m gonna’ say something here which sounds callous and hard but is a spiritual truth none the less for us as followers of the Way:  The truest test of loyalty for the believer comes through extreme hardship and pain.  Just as the best test for a marriage is when things are either extremely good circumstantially or extremely stressful, so with our relationship to God.

Yet I don’t think God “sends” trouble specifically to us all the time.  Oh, I know many who would tell you every gnat or mosquito that bites us is sent by the Lord to test our resolve to serve Him, but I don’t believe it.  Solomon claims time and chance happen to all men, therefore we should realize our  hurtful circumstances come as a natural outcome of sin as much as from the hand of the Lord.  He created all the possibilities and mostly in that way do evil things come to us by His hand generally.  I do believe there are times when He steps in and works specifically to bring about destruction, for that is Scripture, but not everything is sent by Him to test us.

Living in a world full of sin is test enough.  We don’t need to have someone step in to create artificial situations so our loyalty or devotion to God can be proven because those sold to sin will take care of that problem naturally without encouragement or interference.

I ache for my friend and his wife.  I see their little girl, so beautiful and perfect, smart and funny, and I cry inside for their pain.  The answer to the question of why such things happen to good people has been answered by the cross, however, and I hope and pray they find this to comfort them in their hour of agony.  What is happening to Chloe is a direct result of sin in the world, though no specific sin anyone could put their finger on.

Please pray for TJ and Michelle as they walk this valley of the shadow.  Send them light and comfort in the Spirit that they may be able to stand through whatever comes clinging to the hope of Christ.

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3 Responses to “Suffering”

  1. tlc4women Says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with your friends. Such scary times happen to us as humans. God is so faithful to walk it out with us.

  2. jonnysoundsketch2 Says:

    Thank-you.

  3. Ex Boyfriend Says:

    Hey, nice tips. Perhaps I’ll buy a glass of beer to the man from that forum who told me to go to your blog 🙂

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