“God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains; it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” – C.S. Lewis
First thought: If you are currently going through a painful experience, it may be difficult for you to read what I am writing.
Second thought: God does not cause suffering.
Let me continue the thoughts.
Third thought: It is important to seek and derive meaning in our suffering.
Vicktor Frankl was a World War II Concentration Camp Survivor. He wrote that “When we suffer, the single most important ingredient is seeing purpose in it. Lack of purpose breeds hopelessness; purpose imparts the strength to sustain. Suffering ceases to be suffering in some way at the moment it finds a meaning.”
Brother Lawrence, a Seventeenth Century Monk wrote that “To suffer is one thing, to suffer without meaning is another, but to suffer and choose not to press for any meaning is different again.”
In 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, Paul wrote, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort; 4 who comforts us in all our affliction so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
Included in the verses are two little words, which speak volumes, “…so that”. Paul wants to give meaning to our afflictions.
Fourth thought: Relief from pain and suffering may not be the main Christian answer to pain and suffering.
(Thoughts four through six come from one of my professors, Lewis Smedes)
Lewis Smedes wrote, “Ministries of healing are not the main Christian answer to suffering. At their very best, they eliminate a particular suffering of a particular person. They do not remove all suffering from life, and there are still many others suffering the same suffering that was just healed. The healings are signs "that God is alive, that Christ is Lord, and that suffering is not the last word about human existence".
If you are in the midst of pain and suffering, perhaps it would be wise to accept that God will eventually give meaning to it all even if you don’t feel it and that relief from your ordeal may not be the main answer from God.
Something to think about…