Years ago, I heard about a guy named Kurt who ran into one difficulty after another. On the way to work one morning, a garbage truck slammed into his car. A week later, he lost $20,000 dollars on a stock he’d owned for years. Two weeks later, he was hospitalized for kidney stones. A month later, he decided to take a vacation and ski in Colorado, but on the first day, he wiped out going down a slope, hit a tree, and broke his leg. As he lay in the snow waiting for the paramedics, he looked toward heaven and said, “Why, God? Why has all this happened to me?”
Suddenly a huge index finger emerged from the clouds and pointed directly at him; then a voice said, “Well, it’s because… you bug me, Kurt.” Ever feel that way? Ever hurt so badly that it seemed almost a certainty that God had made you His enemy? Suffering can raise such questions; so can pain. It’s akin to saying, “When times are good, God loves me, but when times are bad, He doesn’t.”
Friend, that’s terrible theology. Having faith in God does not guarantee a pain-free life; the Bible doesn’t teach that, nor should we. Life is hard enough without having to wonder every day if God is mad, sad, or glad; if He’s against us, rather than for us.
We’re going to think this week about pain, suffering, and healing. I invite you to brew a hot cup of coffee or tea each morning and join me.
In his book Reversed Thunder, Eugene Peterson says, “God doesn’t explain suffering; He surrounds it.” I’ve come to understand that—have you? Today, if you’ve grown bone-tired, drop-dead weary of asking “Why?”, would you take a few minutes and invite God to come and meet you in your suffering, heartbreak, or despair? Then just say, “Lord, please surround me. If ever I needed your embrace, it’s now.” It will make a difference, friend, I promise.