I’m at church now. We’re discussing over our topics for our fellowship and running through this Friday’s program and making sure our speaker, who is a professor at a biblical university, is also on the same page.
I’m getting the urge to ask him about my pain and about God. He’s 61 and holds a phD in Old Testament (OT) theology. But he’s also my sunday school teacher! This is going to be weird. The urge doesn’t go away. It keeps pushing.
Towards the end of the discussion, I casually say, “okay, so I have a question, may or may not personal, but… why would a loving God allow His beloved to go through pain and suffering? and not the type that is suffering for the Good News or suffering because of persecution, but suffering from other people’s sin? Wouldn’t God shield His good and faithful servant?”
And below are his answers:
First, lets look at Job, what the point of the book of Job?
me: suffering? to understand that God’s in control of everything? God rebukes him at chpt 38~
“but no, look at the big picture. Job didn’t sin to deserve suffering. Yet because of his suffering, he sinned. Also, in the very last chapter, chapter 42, he answers, Now I have seen God with my own eyes. Because before, Job has only heard of this great and might God. But now, he has seen God himself, and not through other people.
Why does God let us suffer? So God can draw us nearer to Himself. Suffering brings us closer to God.”
I finally break, because this vagueness is kind of difficult to communicate through. So I just tell him the whole thing and what happened with my… supposedly now ex-boyfriend? (we never really resolved this, but I’m pretty sure its over)
He continues: “You are trying to find an explanation to satisfy your emotion. But no one can give you that. Only God can answer all your questions and satisfy your emotions as well.
God may want to use this time to change your heart and the change you and your views and reactions.
Suffering is sometimes a chance for us to experience God’s grace more deeply, like in 2 Cor when Paul cries to have his thorn removed 3 times, and in the end, God says “My grace is sufficient”.
God wants us to blossom in certain ways.
God NEVER wastes suffering. He always uses it as an opportunity.
So you should spend time, not focusing on your ex-boyfriend or yourself. But actually focusing on God, and on who God is. Because perhaps this experience is to help you better reflect some characteristic of God’s. You need to find out what that is.
I’ll leave you with 2 verses which are the most famous ones in the Bible.
“For I know my redeemer lives” is from Job 19:25
“Your mercies are new every morning” is from Lamentations 3:23
Did you know that these two most powerful verses are written in the darkest times of the Bible? One when Job was in absolute pain and had lost everything and didn’t know why. Second one was when Jeremiah was looking out on Israel after it was destroyed and wiped out.
You mentioned that you were the Abraham. And your boyfriend was the Isaac. But he’s not the Isaac. This relationship is your Isaac. God is asking you to sacrifice your relationship and give it up. You hoped that by being obedient and faithful to God, that He would give you a good relationship that led to a good and holy marriage and bloomed into a God-glorifying family, etc. All of that… is your Isaac. Not the guy, but your relationship and all your hopes and dreams and agenda for it.
But truly, I am sorry for your pain.”
I’m crying on and off again. Like a faucet, except not of stainless steel but of human flesh and bone.
The pastor and my two friends who are close and knew that this was happening and was also at the meeting all prayed for me. One of my friends say thank God, because just by seeing my suffering really encourages him and teaches him a bit more about God and Christianity. I’m crying a bit more, as I usually get kinda emotional in prayer…
I feel at peace.