07 November 2008

Suffering

I have struggled greatly with the reality of suffering as it relates to God. How can He allow it, why doesn't He help, why doesn't He protect, etc. This is a big hurdle for me in my faith life, but recently I've been able to make some small steps toward understanding...toward God rather than away from Him. This is only by grace, and I'm thankful for it.
I owe much to author Peter Kreeft and his book on the subject. Absolutely wonderful, and the best I've ever read. (Thanks, Beth.)

Today I also read a snippet of C.S. Lewis on the topic and he had something very revealing and provocative to say. "Indignation at others' sufferings, though a generous passion, needs to be well managed lest it steal away patience and humanity from those who suffer and plant anger and cynicism in their stead." Wow...


Truth is, I don't know what real suffering is. My life at this moment is practically perfect. My children are all healthy and whole, my husband is alive and home (no small thing for an Army wife to say these days), we have a home, food to eat, people who love us, and we are free.

I have friends who know real suffering... a seriously ill or disabled child, becoming a widow at 34 raising two young kids thanks to terrorists in Iraq...

these women live with suffering each day. I think the greatest show of respect I can offer them is to humbly acknowledge that I haven't a clue what real suffering is. If my day should ever come, I will have to ask them how it's done. And in the meantime, I'll take a hint from Lewis and try not to rob them of the grace and blessing God wants to accomplish in their lives through their suffering. Yes, God uses every moment of our suffering and pain for glory...for holiness...for reconciliation...for peace. I believe that now. Nothing is wasted by our awesome God. And death does not have the last word.

1 comment:

Dirtdartwife said...

That is a very thought provoking quote. I will most certainly have to remember it. :)

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