“There’s more to come:
We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!” -Romans 5:3-5 (Message)
There’s not a feel good answer to the question, “Why does God allow suffering?” I wish there were. It would be nice to wrap a dilemma that people have grappled with for centuries, into a neat, tidy package.
God alone knows why He allows specific trials to come our way. Sometimes He allows us to glimpse snippets of His purpose this side of heaven, but not always. I accept that I won’t understand the big picture until eternity when all the pieces fall into place and the puzzle of my life is complete.
We live in a fallen world and bad things happen to good people, that’s just the way it is. Pain is universal and inevitable. With it comes the knowing that we are vulnerable. Gone is the childhood fancy that forever and always life will be grand. It just ain’t so.
When sorrow comes, if we are to survive, our vision must change. A paradigm shift is required, “That was then, and this is now. What am I going to do with what has happened to me?”
As I journey through my own difficult times, I am beginning to firm up my own beliefs. Grab a pen and paper and begin to work through your own credo.
These three tenets are at the top of my list:
1. In the thick of the battle my emotions may say otherwise, but I know in my heart-of-hearts I can trust God. Period. I may not like the path He chooses for me to walk, but I can trust Him to allow what is for my good. “When you can’t trace His plan, trust His heart.”
2. Suffering is opportunity for growth. God is more interested in my character then in my comfort.
3. God loves me. He takes care of His own. He is “growing me up.” Oswald Chambers said it well, “Unless we can look the darkest, blackest fact full in the face without damaging God’s character, we do not yet know Him.”
“Lord, I shout my praise to You today even though there is trouble all around me. I commit myself to You knowing that out of adversity, You develop character in me. Thank you that even in the midst of adversity, You are blessing my life. Amen”