I have been thinking about suffering. It may be that God is allowing physical suffering to sweep our world in order to shake His Church to the worldwide ravages of spiritual starvation. Our hearts break more quickly when we see a skin-draped skeleton in its mother’s arms than when we hear a missionary say: millions have never heard the gospel and are bound for hell in the wickedness of their worldliness or idolatry. Of course our heads tell us that it is much worse to be happy in this life and in torment for eternity than to be miserable only in this life. But visible earthly misery reaches our hearts more directly. Perhaps God is touching us this way in order that we might feel the horror of spiritual starvation when our heads declare: Do you weep over the suffering of these bodies now?—How much more, then, should you weep over the suffering of soul and body in eternity!
Seeing this in real life:
*An 84-year-old tribesman stands patiently in line waiting for a precious handful of cornmeal. He is only three people from the head of the line when famine strikes its final blow—he collapses and dies. His skeletal body is dragged a few yards away. And the long line shuffles forward.
*A gaunt young mother holds a tiny bundle of skin and bones to her withered breast . . . but there is nothing there. Soon—perhaps tomorrow—her child will be dead, and she will have only bitter memories of unbearable suffering.
*A missionary steps out of his home to find the hunger ravaged corpses of small children at his doorstep—left there in the dark of night by distraught parents.
*At a feeding station, a fine trail of white flour drifts to the ground from a punctured bag. The children who can still move their arms and legs scoop the flour up with dirt and swallow it before the wind can blow it away.
*A gaunt and withered man is shot in the head for his 12-cent bowl of maize porridge.
*In town after town, village after village, local trash collectors pick up the shriveled little bodies of dead children by the ankles and carry them out to their garbage trucks.
Do we stop and ask ourselves anything? Do we feel bad and shrug it off?
These things do not mean God does not exist, if God did not exist then why would we see it as terrible? Why is suffering wrong? We never try to stop one animal suffering in our games reserves, because we see it as a course of nature- survival of the fittest, but why not with humans? why is suffering… suffering? It is suffering because we have an endued worth, the image of God that sets us apart from the animals. The question is not, if there is suffering how can there be God, the question is, if there is suffering, how can there not be a God?
But alas, we are left with the question, why does God allowing suffering, this is a more appropriate question, from the depression I have to the starvation and political strife in Africa, why would God decree it? Well, I think there are many reason, which I will in time elucidate on this blog, however my point today is where we started. Not to the philosophers, or the atheists, or agnostics (all though there is a parable for you as well), but Christians God is showing us the exceeding sinfulness of sin. Should we merely debate theology and go to Bible studies and pray and read our Bible, if all that learning leads to nothing, then is there life (fruit). We need to take share the answer if we so believe He is the answer (Jesus Christ).