How do we make sense of suffering when suffering doesn’t make sense?
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The Hayman fire was the largest forest fire in Colorado history. Lutheran Valley Retreat and Ranch stands in the middle of the devastation. Cedar Mountain affords an amazing view of this destruction, a mountain many of us have climbed before and after the fire.
There are areas where the fire took no prisoners and other areas where the forest looks like it did before this travesty. What amazes me in this picture is how the fire consumed the land all around this stand of pine trees yet they remain untouched.
Isn’t that the way suffering works? It makes no sense.
“The LORD responded to Job, ‘Will the person who finds fault with the Almighty correct him? Will the person who argues with God answer him?’ Job answered the LORD, ‘I’m so insignificant. How can I answer you? I will put my hand over my mouth.'”
Job 40:1-3 English Standard Version
Doesn’t pain require a Job like response to God? Most people I know never receive an answer to the “why” questions of suffering.
In the midst of pain, God calls us to experience grace. His answer often is, “I’ll be God. You be you. Trust me.” That answer might not satisfy us (it doesn’t have to) but it is a call to faith when faith doesn’t make sense.
For those of you who are suffering today (physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritually) I don’t have answers for your suffering other than going to a cross of suffering and an empty tomb of hope and trust God.
Yes, God can be trusted even when you suffer.
Copyright Douglas P Brauner