Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Lent: Day Fourteen ~ Suffering


2 Cor. 1: 6 And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.

Lent: Day Fourteen ~ Suffering

Some say I turn a blind eye to suffering and strife in the world. Well let me tell you, I lived with a blind man for two and a half years so I know literally what it is like. I make no apologies for the way I am. God made me this way as He made you the way you are. Some SEE and some turn a blind eye to Him.

People are so full of hate for their fellow man that I’d say they are the ones consumed with turning the blind eye because they don’t see through the beautiful picture window, all they see is a small portal of the bigger picture. Whatever that portal feeds them, they believe it to be so.

Since I was born and long before I was born there has been suffering in the world. Turning a blind eye is assuming I don’t care but unlike you, instead of allowing hatred to fester in my soul I see the suffering as salvageable. No, I’m not on a mission to save the world, no I can’t spew hate because I disagree with someone, and I definitely don’t have the power within me to change the world and the way it spins.

Suffering is part of the Christ journey. If we don’t suffer than how are we to know the joy behind prayer? A lot of people won’t accept Christ or a God that causes suffering. I’m not na├»ve in actually thinking that God CAUSES suffering, MAN causes suffering and God cleans up the mess.

I also hear many times, if God is so great, how can He let people die, like children who were enjoying a wonderful day at school and a shooter comes in and takes away their very breath in life?

The problem I have with that thinking is they missed something along the way. God gave us free will so to blame HIM for the shooters choice (sin) is to blame God for HIS choice in creating. Doesn’t make sense does it? Why didn’t He save the children? Why didn’t He reach right in and stop the bullets? If he can ‘part the sea’ surely He can do that. Well, yes He could. He can stop all the suffering in the world but the real question is, why doesn’t He?

Tom W wrote: “Because of SIN in the world, God sent His Son, who in turn, gave His life that we might have a path to forgiveness. This, to as many as would believe. It did not eliminate Sin, but instead provided us a way out of the life of sin and the body of death. God does not form the actions nor decisions of Man, for if that were the case, it would be saying God caused man to sin. It was because of sin that man was separated from God, and given parameters to return to Him, and even offered His own Son as the necessary sacrifice. Even then, it is up to man to accept; actions derogatory to that end are against the Will of God, and will be dealt with as described in The Revelation. As a result, I take exception to senseless killing being called "God's master plan." It IS POSSIBLE, however, to disagree with people, humans, and not hate- This is what all God's people are called to. Destruction of the creation at the hands of the creation is simply sin in action.”

Let me try and make some sense out of this. I think I use the term God’s Master plan too loosely and to some it is misunderstood as me turning a blind eye to the suffering because I say it is all just a part of God’s Master plan. Clarity: God did not create us to sin. We were perfect in His eyes but when woman and man sinned, He didn’t just kill what He created right then and there, He gave us a chance to work our way back to Him, and I believe, to ME, that suffering is just one of the ways our spirit comes closer to God.

He sent His Son into this destructive world to suffer and die for us, our sin. Now I know a lot of folk who think this is a cruel God, they are not shy in expressing WHY they don’t believe and most of the time it has to do with SUFFERING that they think God causes.

Have you ever lost someone close to you? Have you ever suffered and just wish all suffering would go away? Why doesn’t God END all suffering? Why do we continue to suffer? I have lost two children and I KNOW suffering firsthand. I CHOSE to turn to God in my suffering instead of AWAY from God.

A majority of the time, when we’re in the midst of suffering, we pray, to whatever God or spirit you believe in, you pray. When there is the heinous crime of shooting and killing of innocent people, or when planes fly into buildings causing thousands to die, what is it we do in the pangs of our suffering, we pray. We call to God and pray.

God’s master plan is not the action of the sin, and I don’t claim to KNOW His plan, but I feel that through our suffering, we both call on God and come closer to Him or we shun and blame Him! As a note, my suffering has pulled me closer and closer to God. To me, I think people are blaming Him for creating the sinner more than the sin that man commits.

When I say God’s master plan, I only mean that He knows every hair on our head and calls us by our name; I’m not Joni the sinner, I’m just Joni but He already knows my sin as well as the mass destruction man is causing on the earth. No they are not, I REPEAT, the sins of man are NOT His master plan. Free will wasn’t even His plan for us but it IS our saving grace through the SUFFERING of His Son.

I do not turn a blind eye to suffering; as a matter of fact I’m focused on the suffering of many and am in prayer many hours for the suffering that goes on. Whether it is people, trees, animals, or the earth, I pray! I am connected to ALL of God's creation, not just what I pick and choose.

I disagree with a lot going on in the world today but instead of name calling, flinging mud in the faces of men and women and belittling God’s CREATION, I pray. My true colors are worn on my sleeve, I love and I pray while many would rather, in their disagreement of the world’s condition, they’d rather spew hateful words. THAT is showing THEIR true colors.

Which leads me to my next post…

Heb. 2:10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

2 comments:

NurseArtist said...

Excellent post, Joni. I agree with your ideas on why God allows suffering. I too have lost children, one through miscarriage, and one at 21 years of age. I have never felt pain as acutely as at those times. God does not make us do anything, and he doesn't stop us from doing as we wish. He grieves when we do wrong, and is delighted when we come back to him and ask for forgiveness and then try to live as he would want.
Keep the faith, Joni.

joni said...

Thanks Dixie.

No matter how much pain I endure, His love wraps around me so tightly, it eases a lot of suffering.