Surviving the mysteries of suffering

I wrote this to respond to a friend who was experience a tragic amount of loss.  She was having trouble worshiping a God who allowed her life to be so horrible.  This is  what I had to say.

1)  When our house never sold and the bank took it, I heard one woman, whose house was sold say, to me, “the Holy Spirit was with us – our house sold right away.”  It felt like an insult – so, the Holy Spirit wasn’t with us?  My husband is one of the most godly men I know, were your prayers, um….  better?   Does the Holy Spirit like you better?

2)  (I’ve told this  story before)  When I was trapped in sin – I called it a stronghold – I was in great misery.  I prayed, I cried, I did everything I could…  until something snapped inside of me and said ‘despite your troubles, God is still good.”  I realized I  was not so broken up over my sin, but because I couldn’t believe He was good in spite af all my sin, my sin didn’t change Him.

3)  God is not the world.  The world is not a reflection of God. He shows Himself through it sometimes, but not always.  I believe that these horrible things that happen to us are not necessarily a reflection of God’s character.  The Bible says He is good, and He is love – so it’s true – but look at what he allows to His beloved disciples, Paul endured all sorts of horrible things, Peter was crucified, John was banished to an island away from everyone, Mary gave birth in a manger, shall  I go on?  I won’t even start with what Jesus went through.  A life lived for Christ does not mean comfort and freedom from pain and suffering.

4)   There has got to be a way God will be glorified through all of this….  and it’s not necessary right now.  I’ve lost a baby too, and in my mourning I never thought, “Wow!  Now I can minister to other moms who have gone through the same thing!”  I was just devastated.  I needed that time to mourn.  I am recently coming to a point in my life that my mental illnesses are under control enough for me to minister to others with mood disorders.  I didn’t get the diagnosis and jump up and down with excitement.  That reaction would be crazy – I had to take a lot of time dealing with that until I found ways to use it.   Right now I’m working on writing devotionals and many of them are mined from the hurts in my life.  God was not always present in a way that I could hear or see Him, but I know He was there…  the Bible promises He will never leave you or forsake you.

5)  God does give you more than you can handle.  Anyone who says otherwise has not read their Bible.  Look at Psalms, it’s filled with examples of people overwhelmed and suffering because they were given more than they can handle….  however, we are never given more than God can handle.

6)  God can handle all your feeling and blasphemes.  Pour ’em out sister.

6)  Lastly, even though it’s hard, please try and read your Bible, especially the Psalms…  They reveal the complicated characters in the Bible and their full experience of an often unfathomable God.


One response to “Surviving the mysteries of suffering

  • Sam

    Honestly, I’ve spoken with my friends about God, i’ve prayed daily but i don’t remember the last time i actually opened my bible and read it for myself.

    Thank you for the reminder.

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