I’ve been wrestling with my theology on suffering for years now.
May I politely say, I’m not that interested in what you think, or this famous preacher says,
or tape or book or whatever.
I want if straight from the Book.
I want my theology to be His.
The way I see it the pendulum on suffering swings to two extremes.
Americans seem to swing to the extreme that suffering is from satan, God’s will for us is only blessing,
suffering is not blessing and therefore should never happen in the life of a believer.
Here’s where I have a problem…this just doesn’t seem to jive with what’s in the Book.
Every major person throughout the Scripture experienced some type of trial, testing, suffering….
from hope deferred for years and years, Abraham, to being falsely accused and imprisoned, Joseph,
to being martyred, most of the disciples.
The other extreme swing of the pendulum is that we have to somehow earn our salvation through suffering,
that we have to pass some sort of suffering test to be saved.
I don’t find this in the Book either.
The perfect, sinless Son of God died and suffered and rose again for our salvation. Period.
Nothing we do can add to what He has done.
So, here’s where I’m at on the issue.
If mankind had not sinned, there would be no suffering.
God is ever watchful over His children.
His thoughts towards them are more than can be numbered.
So, suffering doesn’t, OOPS!, happen to one of His kids and slip by unnoticed.
If one of His kids goes through suffering, He has allowed it for a purpose and will not waste the experience,
but use it for their good and His glory.
Each of my three daughters have experienced some suffering.
The oldest one, 10 years of infertility, and 3 miscarriages.
The second born, hope deferred for years and years on her dreams,
and a long, long battle before the adoption on her oldest child was finalized.
The youngest daughter, broken engagement, betrayal, hope deferred.
Today our firstborn gave birth to her second daughter.
A 7 lb 13 oz, 19 1/2 inch miracle from the top of her hair covered head to the bottom of her rather long feet.
And the 10 years of loss and waiting and praying?
It didn’t make them more saved, neither did it make them bitter,
but I can say it did make them better.
There’s just something rich and deep in the life of a person who’s gone through the time of testing and trial
and come out triumphant.
That’s what’s on my mind and heart today as my oldest holds her second little miracle from heaven.
I couldn’t be happier or prouder.
Bless the Name of the Lord Who does all things well.
Elizabeth (aka Nana)