There are times in life when things are wrong,
Times when we just have to be strong,
Times when life tries us to the greatest extent,
Times when we are far from content.
What are we to do when hurts come our way?
How are we to hold on and find strength to stay?
It’s not such a simple answer that God gives to us,
We are advised most of all not to make a big fuss.
But grief will show us how weakened we can be,
Grief will show us how far we are from being free,
Grief is God’s way of getting in a mention,
It’s our growth God’s love calls to our attention.
Growth you see is the purpose of life,
Growth will see us through every bit of strife,
God’s interested in us growing tall in his love,
It’s a love we can trust because it comes from above.
There is just no flat out easy answer to the question of God’s unconditional love that allows suffering. I say allow because we cannot imagine God bringing suffering into our lives – because we accept that God is a good God. It does us no good to imagine a God who is capable of bringing harm into our lives.
One thing I can say – from a lived reality – as a product of my own life experience – is God can grow us through grief. If we will look to the heavens – assuming God is a good God – and seek his direction and care during the hardest of times, then God will bring us through the suffering in a way that we have learned incredibly valuable things about ourselves, other people, and about life.
When we cry out to God in our complaints, like the psalmists did, and whinge like Job did, and get depressed like Qoheleth did, then we find ourselves in excellent biblical company!
Everyone who suffers hates the injustice of suffering.
God must understand, because, from my personal experience, we can receive a healing we cannot explain, in the moment or shortly after; often the day after a night sodden with tears.
God hates it that we are suffering, but he knows that the more things are against us – when we look to him – and respond the best way we can – the more he can be for us. Our Lord will not stand by and leave us alone in our hour of need.
If we have faith to pray to God and share our innermost feelings, God will be real to us that moment. And as we look back months and years later, we will see God’s providential hand in our darkest time and most desperate need. That’s unconditional love!
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.