Tag Archives: why God allows suffering

The First Shall be Last and the Last First

I learned something in church. “The first shall be last and the last shall be first.” It’s in the gospel of Mark and my pastor nailed it!

Jesus was the first human to succeed living in contact with God. Eve believed Satan in the serpent and failed. Adam tried but failed when Satan tested him through losing Eve. And every human since. But God became human, our do-over, our servant, or the last; and yet he was first to succeed passing every test Satan devised by trusting and depending on God. 

He was God–first in the universe, but died as a criminal, the lowest or last. And now he has been raised to the position of first in the whole universe. “All power and authority has been given to me.” He is now first in honor and authority because he laid power down and became last.

I’ve heard it many times, said it many times, but never truly understood it, not like that.

I just always thought it related to everything here is backwards. I’ve thought that for years. It is true because we were made to run on love and we don’t now, but have you ever wondered why everything is backwards?

Kids wonder. “Why do we have to go to bed when we aren’t tired and get up when we are?” Especially teenagers want to know this one!

And even little children wonder why they have to eat green food they don’t like instead of ice cream they do like. “Why do we have to learn to like vegetables? If candy and ice cream isn’t good for us, why did God make it? And if vegetables taste bad why did He make them?”

Good questions! And many more need answers, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” “Why do bad people make money and have everything they want?” “Why are evil adults allowed to hurt children?” Many of them never recover. Some of them act out their pain and shoot a bunch of innocent people.  Trying to make things fair?

Why does a loving God allow evil and suffering? The two don’t seem to fit together. Why don’t They destroy evil? Why didn’t they long ago? If you read the Bible you can read a long time before you come up with answers. Well not really. It’s there in the third chapter of Genesis, but it isn’t on the surface and it isn’t explained. Even when you get to the New Testament it isn’t explained. It’s being demonstrated.

Why?

God didn’t want it to be My word against his. They (three persons in one God) needed us to understand the war between good and evil that we are in the middle of. Tonight I just saw pictures from HUBBLE, our space camera, on TV. They were phenomenal. I knew it was a big place–100,000,000,000 galaxies! But seeing it is so cool! I’m pretty sure we were not the first world of beings created but the last. We were the grand finale, because we were a new order, given the gift of procreation! And yes we blew it.

We are some tiny speck of a planet in a small peripheral galaxy and yet we are the focus of interest because God came here and  became one of us! Wow! Our war story is a love story also, all the way through, and is better than any out there. You can read my version of the story in episode 1 of Love’s Playbook. But back to my question. Everything is backwards here because we don’t know how to live love. We were made to run on it, it is how we do best, but we aren’t so good at it.

I’m not talking romance, just love, the kind of perfectly balanced pure energy that gives to everything else. If we try to give to everyone it is usually from deficit called pleasing, or worse, because we don’t really understand love. And because we have dual natures.

This is probably all getting too heavy so let me just say that God is demonstrating the difference between love and evil so we can choose. In fact we must choose. God created us free to choose and that is why things don’t make sense here. That’s why evil is allowed with the suffering it brings. Because our failure requires that each individual chooses. And that is why freedom is so important. Love is only real if it is freely chosen.

Next week, I’ll share a love story that I’ve just finished writing for Love’s Playbook book 7. It is a metaphor of our story and answers the most important questions beautifully.

 

 

 

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Truth can Help

Everyone has disappointment. I watched a video today of my last baby grandson taking his first steps. Of course I was thrilled that my daughter got it on camera and sent it, but later some anger came rumbling up in my chest. I am missing it. I’m missing being in their lives every day. I’m missing the milestones!

It’s the new reality I live with. At times like this it can come up without warning. I have decided to accept it, and sometimes it makes me angry, other times sad, but it is the reality of choice. My husband wants to stay here till he dies. So it pits my love  for him against my love for my grandsons. My desire to be Gama as Jack says.

The only thing that keeps me sane is focusing on the fact that my life is wonderful in every other regard.

People made choices based on the best information they had, and now there is sadness in my life. It’s not a matter of blaming anyone, that wouldn’t help. It’s just the way it is. My husband and I made our desires known to each other as clearly as we can; and there seems nothing to be done, except acceptance and loving what is.

But I know people are, at this minute, over-coming worse pain by looking for the good. The pain of loss of parents, of partners; of living with terminal illness, of no security, no stability, no power, no perceived love. Sometimes we have to forgive God for this expensive way of living. Allowing suffering to be the marker for character.

God hates suffering. I know that. He never intended it. He didn’t bring it on; but it is a great indicator. He (They) have suffered far worse, and far longer, than any of us because of being willing to go on trial to keep Love as the basis for freedom.

And I know He will make it up to us who choose Him, and choose to have a good attitude about suffering, bringing harmony back to the universe. That’s a good truth to hang on to when it gets dark in your life.

My husband and I have been reading the end of The Book — His story — for two weeks–Revelation 21 and 22. It’s pretty amazing. He wants to read it every day for a month.

God says it’s truth you can count on. He will wipe away every tear, along with death, suffering, sadness, and evil. It will all be a faint memory with no pain. And ALL of life will  be wonderful from then on.

Reliable truth (truth that has survived suffering) is a good thing to know in disappointment and sadness.

 

 

 

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A Perspective on Perspective

I promised to answer questions I raised about suffering with the last blog, so for those who are interested: here are my answers. And my disclaimer is don’t take my word, search it out for yourself. This represents 50+ years of Bible study, but you need to know for yourself, asking God’s Spirit to teach you.

Perspective is a very flexible, subjective thing. Beauty and wisdom are in the eyes of the beholder. We don’t have to come to consensus, but you might think if we have the same teacher, we would.

If we could see all the variables God sees, we would be amazed and overwhelmed. But this has helped me understand a sliver of why my brother wasn’t healed in answer to his sisters’ prayers.

If he had been healed, just to watch his baby girl (now 44) die from cancer, it would have been over-the-top pain. She was the one who sat by his bed the last week of his life.

But why not heal her? My religion shows and teaches Jesus healing everyone who asked. Even now Jesus heals those who ask, but not always in their time frame.

He’s promised to heal, He’s promised to answer, but not necessarily now. And not at our demand. Because like a loving and faithful parent, he sometimes says “Wait a while,” and other times He says “No” because His wisdom sees ahead.

However, He has supplied some examples of changing His “no” to yes with disastrous results because someone cried and asked Him to.

The story of Hezekiah* is one of these. He became very ill, and God sent Isaiah to tell him that he would not recover. Now Hezekiah was one of the best kings Israel ever had. He brought tremendous reforms, and did wonderful things, and God honored him–even defeating Sennacherib and the whole Assyrian army when they threatened Israel.

Because he had been so faithful to God, he cried to God and used his record of faithfulness as reason God should heal him. And so God did. He even gave him a sign that he would recover that got the attention of the secular nations around.

But when ambassadors came asking about it, Hezekiah’s faith failed him. He didn’t talk about God or his healing. He showed them what he knew they could relate to–treasure. And they did–they came back and got it.

But that isn’t the worst. During the extra 15 years given to Hezekiah, his son Manasseh was born–one of the worst kings, if not the worst, Israel ever had. He took Israel away from God for 40 years, and undid all the work of his father. It was the beginning of the end that led to being conquered. So what do you think? Was that just so we could read about it and learn to trust His “no”?

If we can get to the place of trusting God–just believing He is all good, and knows what is best, we would be happier. We would be a lot less confused and more relaxed. We don’t know what He sees, what He knows, so knowing Him becomes the only thing we can depend on. He is the loving, all-wise parent.

I’ve been trying to understand what life is all about for 55 years, and in the last ten, two things have become very clear: God is all good and He’s not afraid to suffer and die, and even though He hates suffering and death, He’s not afraid to let us suffer and die. He sees death very differently than we do.

But that’s for next time.

Chronicles 29-32

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Filed under A God perspective, a perspective on evil, Becoming real, Love ed, Mental Health, suffering, What is God like?