The heartbreaks of life cause us to ask the deepest of questions.
A young man is sitting across from me with pain etched deeply in his face. Only a few weeks ago he stood by an open grave with three young children watching the casket being lowered in to the ground. The stillness. The pain. The questions.
Where do I go from here? What am I going to do with my children? Oh God, if you are there, why me? Why me!?!
Life has a way of throwing a pebble into the smooth surface of a still pond. A chaotic splash and the ripples touches every part our soul. The wrenching pain of an exposed heart can cripple us emotionally, physically, even spiritually. The tragedies of life places on a precipice of either grasping for the reality of a Higher Being, or the cold rejection of a loving God.
Where can we find peace and solace in the depths of suffering? Where can we turn for answers when God seems far away on some distant planet? We need someone who understands our pain. To share our grief, embrace our hearts, to put a hand on our shoulder and say, “I am always with you. I will never leave you.”
We can never adequately answer why God would take a loved one in the prime of their lives. We don’t know why God chose to not answer our prayers — even the prayer of five-year girl kneeling at her bed. The cold concrete answer for death – any death on this world – is sin. If it wasn’t for sin, painful tragedies would never occur. But what is more important than this explanation is this understanding — God was suffering with you throughout the whole affair.
Jesus Christ is not our adversary in times of suffering, he is our cure. Jesus Christ suffers with us in our suffering. He is a God who weeps, too. His unconditional love is the only source for healing and peace. Through his participation in our pain, he redeems it. By his ultimate suffering on the cross, he heals our own suffering. He is not off on some distant planet, but is with us each step of the way. This truth alone reveals to us the magnitude of God’s love for us. A loving Father sent his only Son to a dirty, sinful world. Jesus experienced the hellish depth of all that is nightmarish in human existence on behalf of us. He loved the unlovable. He befriended the friendless. Finally, he suffered for a world that is at once so beautiful and so ugly.
Questions are going to remain while we deal with the pain and suffering of life. Jesus’ answer for us is to trust in him. Christ wins our love and trust through the healing compassion of his Word and the warm understanding of his silent embrace. He provides an understanding in the heart which the mind can never fully grasp. Our trust rests on the belief that God works the best result out of all situations, whether good or bad, for the purpose of bringing us closer to him. He wins our love in a way reasons could never do.
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