In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, many people are asking…
These are anxious times.
A crisis unfolds.
A parent has died.
A friend is terminally ill.
A government official continues to fabricate.
And we ask, Why?
Why is this happening?
And then our Whys turn into Hows and Whens.
How did this happen?
When is this going to end?
How are we going to get out of this?
And then our whys, hows, and whens go a step further.
God, why would you allow this to happen?
Why would you allow her to get sick?
Why would you allow him to die?
Why would you allow me to lose my job?
And sometimes our Why God turns into: If God is good, then why is there ________ ?
You fill in the blank.
Hundreds of thousands of people ask this question daily.
Suffering, pain, sickness, and loss are at the top of this list.
Pain and suffering are real
The reality is that, for every human being, our world is full of suffering.
No matter how spiritual. No matter how successful.
The rain of suffering falls on everyone.
What we don’t need to hear
When people are going through it, they (and we) don’t want to hear that it doesn’t exist.
We want to be heard. To be understood. To have someone else identify with our circumstances.
The truth is we all go through pain and suffering in various shades and colors.
We all have that in common.
Only when we come to terms with this, can real life changing conversations happen.
Conversations about the possibilities of hope and healing and wholeness.
Including possibilities that involve Jesus. And what following him in the middle of our suffering might look like.
Question: When someone is suffering in your life this week, how can you help them feel heard? If you are the one suffering, what times and spaces can you use to share what you’re going through with others?
In the next blog, Making sense of suffering, I’ll be looking at the problem of suffering and offer some hopeful considerations.