Why did this happen to me?
What did I do to deserve this?
Why can’t I have her life?
I don’t understand this.
I need answers!
When life hurts, there are so many things to complain about, so many questions that haunt our minds in the dark of night, threatening to imprison us forever in that darkness.
Christians believe that one day we will discover the reason behind our suffering. We believe God has a plan and one day we will understand it all.
Some talk about God’s plan being like a giant tapestry. Up close, the unravelling threads look messy and disorganized. Some threads seem to have been chopped off violently and prematurely while others appear to have been left long and dangling with no clear direction or purpose. They say that one day, when we are able to step away from that tapestry, we will see the beauty all of those threads make when woven together.
I don’t know about this. I guess I think it is more likely that we won’t care as much, that once we are in the loving embrace of our Father, the suffering we experience now will be wiped out, overpowered by His Glory.
But in the meantime, how do we deal with those questions? Those sufferings we can’t have answers to?
It helps to look at other things I may also never have answers to.
How does the sun shine so brightly even when it’s hidden by clouds?
How does a baby’s belly laugh make even the hardest of men crack a smile?
How does the hug of a friend who has always been there chase away the cobwebs of worthlessness?
Why does toasting marshmallows over an open fire bring children from miles around?
Why does the smell of spring rainmaker me want to go outside and dance?
Why does looking up at a clear January sky make me want to sit outside taking in every star and forgetting the cold?
I don’t have answers to these questions. I guess if I wanted to I could research, ask experts, take polls and maybe find some answers to some of them. They could be explained away by endorphins and scientific explanations and other stuff I don’t care much about, but the truth is
I’d rather just enjoy these things.
We don’t NEED answers
Perhaps, the key to understanding our suffering is not so much in finding answers to why things happen, but in just waiting our way through our suffering, not in enjoying our suffering, but in finding Joy in our suffering as James 1 call us to do:
Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trials, for you know that the testing – of your faith produces perseverance. And let perseverance be perfect, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
Perhaps that joy comes not in the answering of our questions but in the being still and letting God handle those questions and in knowing that, when we get through suffering, when all the agonies of this life have passed, we will be able to smile, knowing our lives, if we draw closer to God in Patience, Love, Hope, Strength, in so many Good things, have been made better by those sufferings.
Suffering has the power to change us for the better or for the worse. Instead of letting your search for answers and explanations consume you, try waiting your way through, knowing that when you do emerge on the other side, your life can be better, and always remember, You Are NEVER Alone!