A Universal Perspective on Suffering

We attended an aunt’s  funeral on Saturday, a friend (42) died of a heart-attack Saturday night, and Sunday my niece (41) has cancer. It’s been quite a weekend.

Someone asked how I was doing with all this, and I said, “There are things worse than death.” My friend asked what, and I said, “Turning on God, blaming Him for it.”

That is the worst. Then next worst is being one of those whose life is shattered by the loss. How do you deal with your husband playing basketball, collapsing and dying when you have two little boys?

All I know for sure is God is good, and this is when you need Him the most, and when you get the angriest that He didn’t exert a little of the omnipotence He  has. But of course, that would be undermining our freedom, now wouldn’t it.

Who knows but what Geoff had a thought to not play basketball that night. We often have thoughts we overrule without a second thought. We can’t live in fear. And God doesn’t want us to.

So the other thing we can know, but only by faith at a time like this, is that God knew what was going to happen,  even though He didn’t cause it,  and He will carry us.  He has our back, and a plan to get us through it, and will even bring good out of it if we can bring ourselves to trust Him.

If you can stretch this far, suffering may be an honor, as it was in Job’s case, in the Old Testament scriptures. God knew He could trust Job to not turn on Him, and to not give into despair. Job was an exhibit of righteous trust for the whole on-looking universe.

I’ve been thinking about things from a universal perspective since I was a child. I’m not sure why, it just seems like it has always been there, at least since age 7 or 8. But it is awfully hard to think like that when you are the one being “honored” with God’s trust, the pain tends to eclipse those thoughts.

Nevertheless, He has promised to get us through it, and that the true honor is yet to come: honor for helping Him win His trial before the universe. That trial is about if God is trustworthy. Was He telling the truth when He said You don’t need to know evil. It will kill you. ?


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