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Thoughts on Suffering…& Disability

July 16, 2009

I think it is the cry of the human heart to understand suffering. We rail against it and want to know WHY must there be suffering? Some of us even ask IF there must be suffering.

Some of us suffer noticeably. You cannot miss it. The one who has cancer or some crippling disease or something that causes them persistent physical pain or disability. The ones who can barely move…or even not move at all. Their struggle is obvious and can be seen.

Then there are some of us who suffer more quietly. We are suffering on the inside where it is not so obvious. There are things we cannot do that “normal” (whatever that is) people can do. Although no one sees that inner suffering, it can be just as intense and just as debilitating as the outer physical suffering.

I have friends who are survivors of heinous things. Things that have left marks on their bodies and souls…upon their very hearts. Why? Why was it allowed is the question that is most often asked. They struggle with bodies that are breaking down. They struggle with minds and hearts that are broken. Yet, they persist in doing the best they can to live life, just like the ones whose sufferings are out there for all to see.

I think we all want so much to know that our suffering…whether obvious or hidden…does not go unnoticed by our Creator. We want so desperately to know that, somehow, it will be redeemed…that it is not all for naught. Is there any good that can come out of suffering? Any good at all?

I have been looking at this whole issue of suffering for some time. Quite a while ago I started reading a book by Ken Ham called How Could a Loving God…? Lately, I decided it was time to pick it up again.

There are some out there who seem to believe that, once you commit to follow Yeshua/Jesus, you should never experience suffering anymore. All sickness is supposed to be gone. All struggles are to be gone. Or…if you ARE hit with anything…well, you should experience healing and you should just walk through everything with grace…and without experiencing any unhappiness. I get the impression from some that we are not to allow life to phase us…that, somehow, we are to just walk through calmly unaffected by the storms of life. It is either “no storms” or “unaffected by the storms”.

A ship comes to mind. I don’t think that anyone on a ship in a storm can say they are not affected by it. You may have all the faith in the world that the Captain will get you through that storm…but that does not mean that you don’t grab hold of that railing really tightly as the ship pitches back and forth.

When life throws storms at us…sometimes that is all we can do…grab hold of that railing and ride the storm out…while trusting that the Captain of the ship will never abandon us. One thing that I find comforting is that our Captain…Yeshua/Jesus…is right there in that ship with us. He truly doesn’t abandon us.

So this is something I have been looking at and will continue to address for a bit.

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