Today I was reading about a personal trial and one of the descriptions was, “everything God makes is good” to somehow comfort or explain a terrible, unthinkable tragedy.  This is a common answer to problems of deep pain in certain circles and it bothers me deeply, I’m afraid.  Not because it is untrue but because it isn’t true in this case.  Here’s what I mean.  God, in the beginning, created everything from nothing.  And it was good.  Then there was sin.  And now not all things are good.  God can redeem anything for our good and His glory.  But in the end, without sin there is no need for Jesus and that changes the whole story.

Unfortunately, it isn’t theoretical pain or theology we feel.  It’s personal circumstances we can’t fathom, can’t explain, can’t cope with.  It’s the universal question, “Why me?” brought home to our individual lives in specific ways.  And rather than admit that we don’t, and really can’t, answer all the whys we search for a way to make the unexplainable easier.  We don’t really know why some children die and some don’t.  We don’t like to admit that there are mysteries we will never explain in this life so we go to the “sounds good” answer.  Sadly, this is usually the time the world is watching us to see what we will do and to hear what we will say in moments they too face and cannot explain.  And when we default to “churchy’ answers we negate both the bridge into which they can see how to know God in the midst of a fallen world and the truth of what God is actually doing and has done for us.

He doesn’t make this life the one that lasts for a reason.  Our trials do free us from this world and prepare us for the next.  Yet, the pain is real.  And “ouch” is a valid response to pain.  Even if it’s “OUCH!”  When our christian friends think it is less Christ-like to express the pain we feel, or we  don’t let the people around us express the pain in their lives we deprive the world of the reality that doesn’t need a T.V..  That God isn’t in the business of softening every blow every time.  He does claim to love the world, fallen and desperate as it is, and He backs His claim with the life, the death, and the resurrection of His only son. 

Nothing bad that happens to us is worse than God’s son, our perfect Savior, hanging to death on a cross for our sins.  As well as what would happen to us if He hadn’t!Nothing in this life will be as good as the first moment of eternity in heaven.  That’s the truth we need to stand on, lean on, fall on and weep on.  Go ahead tell the truth.  We don’t have to soft pedal for God about the circumstances He sends our way.  We can state with confidence that God can handle our pain even when we don’t understand it and can’t explain it. When we can respond as if pain truly hurts us we show our neighbors, friends, and onlookers we may not even know about, that God can handle their pain too.  And not with platitudes.  With sympathy.  With emphathy.  Not because He’s pleased with our answers to a test.  But because He loves us and is thrilled when we finally believe it!

May God’s love be the most real thing to you today no matter your circumstances.  Blessings.


2 thoughts on “What of Pain?

  1. Amen! It’s like a doctor who is doing something to your foot or other part and is joking and you are in excruciation pain. It doesn’t hurt him or her but you are suffering. Acknowledge.
    I recently read something about patience that really struck home. Biblical patience is not endurance, it is acceptance and trust in God.

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