(This blog was originally published by Jean-Marie Jobs on March 9, 2015)
It’s the biggest complaint we have, the most common argument against the existence of a loving God, something we invest tremendous energy in avoiding – suffering. Please don’t misunderstand me, I’m not suggesting anyone should want to suffer or seek it out. I notice the way I often relate to suffering:
1. Something is wrong
2. I did something wrong
3. You did something wrong to me
4. God doesn’t care
What if suffering had nothing to do with ‘wrongness’ or God not caring? (Of course we do suffer at times as a result of our choices). What if suffering could also be evidence of passion, of love, of intimacy, of just being human? Would I judge it or resist it the same way? How much energy would be freed up in my life if I stopped resisting suffering and just allowed myself to be in it, feel it, learn from it, experience it? It sounds counterintuitive or maybe even masochistic. Jesus’ own willingness to suffer to transform our relationship to the Father is a powerful statement of possibility.
Hebrews 2:10-12 10 In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering . 11 Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers. 12 He says,
“I will declare your name to my brothers;
in the presence of the congregation I will sing your praises.” NIV
Find something or someone worth suffering for and allow it to transform your pain into faith, hope and love. Jesus did.