Seems fitting I'd be thinking on suffering this weekend.. Of all times. The time the Christ-followers remember his death. His suffering.
Those who know me know how I have grappled with this. Suffering. I can rattle off all the reasons for it as well as the next person, but when you truly witness it first hand in all its raw physical and emotional pain, once you've lived it, those reasons become hard to accept. Hard to see the love of God there. Hard to trust in his goodness. For me anyway.
I so relate to what C.S. Lewis wrote in his book A Grief Observed. “We were promised sufferings. They were part of the program. We were even told, 'Blessed are they that mourn,' and I accept it. I've got nothing that I hadn't bargained for. Of course it is different when the thing happens to oneself, not to others, and in reality, not imagination.”
“Not that I am (I think) in much danger of ceasing to believe in God. The real danger is of coming to believe such dreadful things about Him. The conclusion I dread is not 'So there's no God after all,' but 'So this is what God's really like. Deceive yourself no longer.”
Oh I choose to believe He is good and loves me, but oh how my heart has been broken into many pieces as I've watched cancer's cruelty destroy so much.
Why did I never doubt his love but I doubt God's?
Suffering. Is there something that suffering can accomplish that maybe nothing else has the power to completely do?
Suffering strips away everything that is not important and leaves only that which really matters. I did witness this too. I saw a man who had so much taken from him and yet his smile remained. Courage was displayed. Love was pure. Grace was apparent. He was content to sit next to me and hold my hand and say he was happy. Maybe God was doing something inside in a place human eyes are unable to see.
I've been trying to find my footing. Seeking a safe place. Trying to come up for air. I just want him back. I'll never have pat answers. For now the waves still wash over me. But there is also hope.
After all....it IS Resurrection Sunday.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Cor. 13:13
You are never in danger of showing or giving too much love. Let it flow... and let others know. Don't make them guess.