The Problem of Pain. This is a timeless question that is at the center of most people's lives at some point or another. I know personally I have asked God numerous times, "Why me?" Why do we have to be hurt even though we are followers of God? Why do we have to tragically loss those we love? Why are we sometimes treated like Job of the Bible? Does God truly care about us in the midst of suffering and how do we see God communicated in a world that is so filled with destruction, it is clouded.
I had the opportunity to recently read The Problem of Pain by C.S. Lewis as a part of my study through the Signature Classics. This is a novel that is not unlike the rest of his writings, a novel that is describing the fact that our life is filled with hurt, but how does this communicate the love found in Christ. This is the question the Lewis wrestles with and what is interesting is that he never states that our life should be centered on our suffering or that our suffering is a flook, but instead our suffering is an opportunity for us to praise God.
Like the story of Job, Lewis illustrates the fact that our suffering is a testament to fall back on Christ. That our suffering is an opportunity to say Christ is the center of my life despite this suffering that seems to cripple. But these opportunities are the opportunities that truly build my character as a follower of Christ.
This past year I have personally dealt with suffering in the form of running into death face to face. On February 14th I got a call that one of the students that we work with at Bloc Ministries was shot and killed. Although this student was not my son or brother, I truly felt the weight of his death on our ministry and my life as a follower of Christ. I asked the question of "Why us God, why him?". It was not a few weeks later that my fiancé and I were faced with death again, when her grandmother died. This was devastating for my fiancé, just the fact that we saw death face to face. Again we asked the question "Why God?"
But after reading this book and looking back it does not make the sting of these tragedies any less, but it made me realize that in these situations my trust in God was built. Also my dedication to meeting the physical and emotional needs of others is what makes us true followers of Christ. For there is nothing more organic than life and death. And there is no better opportunity to seek God than in these two situations.
We Miss you Grandma Schroeder and Deore
Until Another Day