Pain and suffering are my biggest bones to pick with God.
It’s Saturday morning.
I stood at my stove this morning staring at the fresh pancake batter I just poured into the skillet. It was sizzling… and my toddler was tugging at my pajama pants wanting to know what was going on up there.
What was going on were tears. Tears for families I didn’t know and people I’ll never meet.
Justin had just shared the story of a family bracing through hurricane Irma when the doors of their home blew open, and water swept away their two year old child. I cry even as write this.
I can’t imagine that pain. And what I can imagine makes me weep.
When I get to the other side of this life, the problem of pain is the first thing I want to get answered.
I believe God has the power to take away our pain. To relieve our suffering.
And I have no idea why He doesn’t.
I get that this could be one of your biggest hangups when it comes to God. Why would God let this stuff happen?
How can there possibly be a personal, loving God when we just turn our head to find more pain again and again?
It’s a fair question.
And a tough question.
And I don’t intend to answer it for you.
But here is where this question has landed me when it comes to faith in an omnipotent, omniscient, omni-present, personal and loving God.
There’s only one emotionally satisfying answer to this for me.
That is this; your feelings are justified.
Your sadness is real. Your heartbreak is right. Your pain is meaningful. Your desire for better is important.
Your longing for a perfect world with no pain and no suffering is justified. Because you were MADE for one.
Let that desire and longing hurl us toward the God that made us and holds the narrative of life. Let pain remind us that things are not as they ought. And better yet, that there will one day be a world that should be. Jesus promised to make all things new.
But tell that to the boy who just lost his home. Tell that to the mother that just lost her child. Tell that to the man that just lost his father. The grief is still real.
And all I can do is cry with them.
While I don’t fully understand God’s sovereign (supreme power) ways, I think one day we will. One day there will be no more pain, no more suffering, no more tears. Rev. 21:4
Until then, we are reminded that we are mortal, we will all return to dust, we have far less power than we think we do. And there is a Power in the universe far far far greater than us.
Thank God that he poured that power out on the cross of Jesus and shows us mercy.
That’s what I’m pray for… mercy. But it’s mainly coming out as “Oh Lord… Oh Lord…”
John Piper’s prayer says it well. If you click here to read it, read to the end.
Friends, lets not let the mystery, power and glory of Jesus’ live only as a nice story in our mind. Because it’s not just a nice story.