Thoughts on deep loss and intense suffering

Thoughts on deep loss and intense suffering

Renee EllisonSep 5, '21

Are you and/or someone you know experiencing what seems to be extraordinary suffering, or grieving a great loss?  Here are some thoughts about God's very BIG picture for our lives here on earth that may shed some light regarding a believer’s temptation to doubt God while facing  such suffering.

The Heavenly Father has explained many things to us through the pages of the Bible.  We know from His Word that God is love, and that there was a Fall, which, along with other consequences, thrusted us into communication difficulties in this world.  There is also much that He has not yet explained to us.  Two areas in particular are hidden in shadows to us down here on Earth: the existence of evil, and the reason for suffering—or why the need for it; even further, why the need to fill up the fellowship of HIS sufferings (Colossians 1:24 and Philippians 3:10).   We  all thought He already suffered enough.  Apparently His body, the church of Christ, also must suffer, for some mysterious reason.

Could it be that the reason God has not explained these two areas to us is that—believe it or not—it might not help?  That idea came from Corrie Ten Boom.  When her father and she, as a little girl, boarded a train, she asked, "to where?", he replied, "That is an answer I can't give you now—for the same reason why I carry the big suitcase for you, because you are too little to carry its weight."  There are spiritual areas like that, too, that we are not supposed to understand yet.  It’s much like trying to explain sex to an ant on the sidewalk.  Why do it?  Even if the ant were to know about it, that wouldn’t help that ant in any way.

Another possible reason for the Father’s silence on these issues is that our knowing more about them might lead us down rabbit trails into further, perplexing concepts that are even bigger, and that would be further incomprehensible and/or unproductive for us.

The entirety of what God has told us about the existence of  evil is in one sentence: "Iniquity was found in him [Satan]” (Ezekiel 28:15). One day it wasn't in him; the next day it was.   We know that it introduced free will to us, because via it, choice entered the universe—but obviously there are further things we absolutely don't know about it.  Why was that necessary?  God could have created without introducing choice—and if we had never known about it, it wouldn't have bothered us.

God says very little about the why of suffering—but the fact that He came to earth and entered into personal suffering—suffered with us—says oceans.   It was as if He said, "Mum’s the word on the why of suffering, but the fact that I go through it with you is confirmation that I can be loved and trusted to hold these truths that are beyond you for now."

We are not God.  Nor can we understand God.  What He gets from us through suffering is trust, and trust that has been so tested and hard won from His people that it must be the most beautiful fragrance on His heavenly dresser bureau—His bouquet that He treasures most.

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