Tuesday, June 13, 2006

On suffering

A very dear friend is entering into a painful place and suffering is at her door. I would do anything to keep her heart from breaking, but I know its not my place. She emailed me some questions and this was my response in reflection today. Thought I would blog a bit of it.

I have had a year where suffering has had to be my friend. I lost my niece, 2 of my best friends and suffered a debilitating injury. I have spent many nights
asking "why?"

Here is what I know, God has set up the world in such a way as to give us
choice. All of our choices have consequence, positive or negative. Sometimes
those consequences cause suffering to the individual and the community living
around them. Some of the suffering we go through is a result of our wrong
choices, some is the result of Adam and Eve's wrong choice which created a
fallen world. A life with God is not w/out suffering. Abraham suffered, Moses
suffered, David suffered, the prophets suffered, the apostles suffered and Jesus
suffered. The difference is that suffering is not our end, but a temporary
reality. And that we have access to strength while we suffer. We get our
strength from God himself, and God working through others.

God's will is that we make choices that honor Him and obey his teachings. When
we don't, suffering usually is the result whether great or small. Jesus created
a way for us not have to suffer eternally for our choices, he took on our
suffering on the cross. However, the suffering we have in this life is actually
a means to grow deeper in Christ and become more mature in His Kingdom. That
depends on how we face our suffering. Will we run from it and avoid it? Or
will we have the courage to walk through it, no matter how painful it is? Those
are very big questions. You have an opportunity to hold the hands of those
around you and walk with them through this desert. Face the pain and believe
that healing is on the other side.

I hate suffering but the Kingdom even Now is not without it.


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