Tag Archives: God and suffering

Fostering love in the desert

“Are you sure you want to walk with me?”


“It’s about 90 degrees out there and you know how far I walk,” I added.

“I know, I’m coming with you,” said Dak, the foster child who came to live with our family that year.

Was I surprised when Dak started petering out about half way through the walk? Yes and no. He was a sturdy 9-year old and had come on the walk with me before. But, Dak had a penchant to want to prove himself stronger, smarter, and faster than he really was, more often than not, getting himself into trouble.

We, previous foster parents, and social workers all strove to bring balance to Dak’s life. But one mile from home, he stopped in his tracks. Dak had sweat one drop too many. Something triggered and he sulked.

I remember sulking in the same way when I was a teenager after realizing I wasn’t getting my way.

But that day, we were on a desert trail. Not a high traffic area. So, I picked Dak up and started carrying him. His grouched weight strained my 115 pound slim (read non-muscular) physique. I started suffering.

Was my love for Dak’s safety carrying the load even though I was suffering? Probably not, I was pretty pissed. But the faith in me knows that God loves Dak. And the realist in me knows this human experience reeks with suffering; so much suffering in fact, that I’ve searched the Bible for meaning.

At the Pool of Bethesda, Christ Jesus healed a disabled man who had suffered for 38 years. Interestingly after the healing, “Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, ‘See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.’” (John 5:14, ESV)

In this case, Jesus attributed suffering to sin. On one hand, it appears as though suffering serves to draw us away from sin and closer to God, life and love. But on the other hand, suffering isn’t posed as an agent to God because Jesus stopped the suffering of the man before fully knowing if the sin was stopped.

What about the times when innocent people suffer?

Prior to his crucifixion, the innocent Christ Jesus told Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.” (Matthew 26:38, ESV)

I take his “watch” instruction to mean stay awake to God, to life and love, mainly because Jesus went on to show the result of staying awake to God, rather than being mesmerized by, or trying to manipulate the drama and suffering. Although he experienced horrible human suffering, Jesus passed through the suffering alive and useful.

Suffering may get our attention but it doesn’t have to keep it.

Instead of letting suffering use me, I use suffering to repent or think differently.

As I carried Dak in the desert, my attitude cooled off. I gave God the pissy feeling to deal with and felt thankful for the fact that God loves Dak. Mercifully, Dak relaxed and offered to walk on his own and the whole incident never became a thing.


Trying to Get Out of the Wilderness

We’ve been discussing Moses and his dealings with the children of Israel. They are now all sitting in a wilderness.  To an outsider, they probably looked busy, maybe even prayerful, however, there was an obvious lack of spiritual power and growth.

At some point, Moses is inspired to gather 12 leaders and send them to the land of Canaan, outside the wilderness.

Pretending to be spies, the twelve men go to Canaan and scout out the region. They return with their report. All of the spies, except Caleb and Joshua, say, “We can’t overtake the people of Canaan.”

Caleb and Joshua feel differently, and tell the people, “We think we can move out of this wilderness and into the promised land.” These 2 men were ready and willing to tackle new ideas.

Fear and sloth though swelled and the majority decided to stay in the wilderness, convinced their way was “the way.” But they died. And rotted.

40 years later, when the tide shifted and there were more people who knew they could move forward than there were nay-sayers, Caleb and Joshua led the way into the land of Canaan.

It isn’t that life then became hunky-dorry, but that the people’s minds showed some progress. For forty years, no progress was evidenced, only death. Now, they were forced to interact and think.

I doubt that during those 40 years, Caleb and Joshua were waiting around for the nay-sayers to die. I doubt Caleb and Joshua gave up on God either. There is no mention in the Bible that Caleb and Joshua took it upon themselves to strike out on a vendetta against the old ways.

They knew God and progress were the law, but they also knew it was their responsibility to manifest God and progress. Caleb and Joshua must have continued in their understanding of God and experienced it to a higher degree each day, while manifesting evidence of progress, even while in the wilderness.

Endure Glorifying God, Not Suffering

Human beings have built up an incredible endurance to loss and unfairness over the millenniums. It has become second nature to submit and accept without reservation the crap that comes our way. We hope for the best but a general feeling of pessimism floats around the atmosphere like unseen dirt particles making their way deeper and deeper past our nostril hairs only eventually to clog our breath of life. Pathetically, the loss and unfairness are looked at as though they must be God’s will and it is our duty to endure—until we reverse the picture and take a stand to endure the fight for success and fairness.

As a Bible reader, I am familiar with the verses that applaud suffering and how suffering produces endurance and hope, but because we all read the parts we want to read in the Bible, I’m going to quote from Romans, “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means.” (Romans 6:1-2, ESV)

What is sin? Big question that has yet to really be defined clearly, however I’m tempted to believe that suffering is a sin. I already know that sin produces suffering. Envy, hate, and stupidity are always traceable to some kind of suffering. But what about those times when the innocent suffer?

I’ve healed innocent animals and pets quickly through prayer on the metaphysical basis that suffering is sin. Suffering is not God’s will. Moreover suffering doesn’t glorify God. The elimination of suffering or sin, does glorify God.

The same prayer is used for human beings. We weren’t meant to endure suffering. It is not God’s will or way of teaching us a spiritual lesson. In fact, we are pretty worthless as servants of God when we are suffering so the natural conclusion would be that God wants to heal suffering. We were however meant to endure glorifying God in our everyday life and thereby overcome suffering.

From 21st Century Science and Health, “Suffering, self-destructive, dying beliefs are unreal. When divine Science is universally understood, a negative consciousness will have no power over us, for we are spiritual and live by divine authority.”

%d bloggers like this: