I’m restless this afternoon–probably dehydrated, I reflect–could the news from my friend put me in this funk? Don’t I believe God is good? I say it enough…so I should just start thanking Him that He has this too. And I’m sure He does. So I drink two glasses of water and began to write here. That’s one of my best processing strategies.
Did you know stress doesn’t kill us? There is now a great body of research to show it (Cohen, 2006). It is the state your body is in when the stress hits. Are you healthy? What do you do with the fear that presents itself with bad news? What are your feedback systems? What are your patterns? How do you cope?
We are emotional creatures. There is no way around it. We’re built to feel. We have to have outlets for emotions and pain. Fear is real when you hear a good friend has just been exposed to Ebola. No the fear isn’t for me–he’s in another country. The fear is for him and his family. It’s worse than hearing someone here has cancer–and that is bad enough.
And no, I’m not afraid of death for people who know God, their pain is over. I feel for the people who are left. The ones who suffer. I’m not afraid his wife and three children will get the disease–they are here. But how awful it would be to go on without him–he’s so full of life and fun. Humor is his second nature, as is adventure, and faith.
Sooner or later everyone comes around to the question. Why do good people suffer? Or Why does God allow suffering? Does He cause it? Those two have made many atheists.
I’m clear on both. Why is there suffering? Freedom. And no, He doesn’t cause suffering. He has no evil. So what’s my problem?
Part of it is the pathways I have. Fear used to be second nature to me. That network–mostly dormant is still there–ready to be activated at any time. Another part is that I know God sees what we don’t, and sometimes He sees that it is better not to intervene. I admit that one still gets me nervous from time to time. Faithful suffering speaks.
So what is the real problem? Do I know Him well enough to ask Him and listen for His voice? Do I take my shocks and fears to Him? Can I trust that He really knows best if He doesn’t do what I think He should? I am shocked to realize that I haven’t talked to Him about this yet!
Why not? I got caught in feeling–in the awfulness and emotion of what happened. That is purely human. But I could have turned to him immediately instead of wallowing in feelings for two hours. Now that is crazy!
One of my friends even said the right words, but they went by with my agreement but not my action–not connecting with Him about this.
I even talked to Him about something else! Wow! I’m amazed.
Fear does NOT come from God. But neither will He jerk it away from me. I have to want to give it up. Processing helps. Can I trust Him? His goodness? Really?
Yes! Will I? That is my choice.