Saturday, August 25, 2012

"I'm Suffering!" How To Deal With Suffering

First Posted on Raha and God

I have a hard time understanding human suffering. Just watching TV this morning and I see these guys who’ve dug about a 15 foot well with a couple of stepping blocks and there’s like 12 guys at each level and they were passing water up and down, you know fetching water for their community and that’s how they live. Every couple of months it gets dry, they have to dig deeper, maybe once in a while it rains and they rest a little, same cycle.

About the same time, my mom is telling me how there were cattle rustlers somewhere in the coast. Two different neighboring communities and one attacked the others village, burned down houses and killed 37 women, 4 men and about 15 kids. One survivor, a man was on camera and he had a baby a couple of months old and 3 other kids, and we find out he’s lost his wife and 2 other kids, all killed. He saw the media and police commissioner and he’s just asking him, “Why have you come now? What can you do now? Can you bring my kids back? Will you bring my wife back? Are you going to breast feed my baby?” Then he just collapsed into tears.

My mom was telling me how her heart just broke seeing that, same as mine hearing about it. Then she asked me, “Now how do you tell someone like that about Jesus?”

So now, I’m here reading my Bible, listening to a Mars Hill podcast by Mark Driscoll and singing a little Jesus Culture, you know my typical Saturday chill day. My life is pretty good. I know Jesus, I have issues, I have sin that I’m still confessing and getting past, but I know God is real, I know his redemptive power. Yet, how do I reconcile my God to this situation. The Bible says all things work for good to them that love the Lord and are called according to His purpose – Romans 8:28. How do you tell someone that losing your wife and kids, senselessly because people had no heart and slaughtered them that this will work for good. If you told me that, I would smack you in the face!

Then, turning to good old Google, “What does the Bible say about suffering?” and it points me to the book of Job, which I’m actually going through in the One Year Bible right now. All I’ve learnt from Job so far is a lot of confusion. 

One day I’m on Job’s side, like, “What did I do wrong, have I not been faithful and honored the Lord all my life? What sin did I not repent of that was so great that I deserve to be disgraced like this?” 

Other days I’m on his friends’ sides, “Trust in the Lord, this is only a season and God is definitely going to restore you to even greater heights than this.” (Plus, I’ve been reading this for three days and I’m just like, “dude, get over it already so I can move to Ecclesiastes!)

To which Job always replies, “Get out of here! No literally get out of here, you have no idea what I’m feeling, you look down on me already because I’m suffering. All the words you’re saying are like nails on a chalkboard and the funny thing is, if I were in your shoes I’d have said the exact same thing. It’s not going to be alright, I don’t see the silver lining and all I want to do is to die.”

Job’s story puts into perspective the phrase, “naked I came into this world and naked shall I leave.” Oh wait, he said that *_*...................{Continue Reading....}

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