There is No Such Thing, This Side of Heaven
There is no question that the world has plenty of examples of suffering. Why, we ask, would a loving God permit pain and suffering? Ultimately, this is a question that you will have to ask Him.
Suffering is critical to us becoming who we’re meant to be.
If everything was easy, we would not be able to accomplish all that we are supposed to. Nature is full of examples of this.
When a baby giraffe is born it falls 4’-5’ feet to the ground. Then as it is trying to get up the mother kicks it, again and again. Working through this struggle the baby giraffe learns to get up. In a matter of hours, it’s prepared for lions, hyenas and wild dogs.
Or, what about butterflies pushing to get out of the cocoon they find themselves wrapped up in. We’ve all heard about someone helping a butterfly with this process and then the butterfly’s ends up being too weak to fly.
We are no different. Sure, it would be nice if we didn’t have to suffer, but this would leave us weak and unprepared for life. Suffering makes us stronger.
While everything else follows its instincts and does what comes naturally…we humans think and think and think… Rather than embracing the struggles and learning and growing, we want things to be easy. We think we know better than God how things should be.
Easy leads to a life void of meaning.
In Viktor Frankl’s book, Man’s Search for Meaning, he outlines his theory of logotherapy. Logotherapy says, “The primary motivational force of an individual is to find meaning in life.” This theory helped him to survive his Holocaust experience. Being in a concentration camp as a Jew…that’s real suffering.
Frankl says there are three things needed to experience a life of meaning:
- Finding a worthwhile project to work on and working on it
- Understanding suffering and viewing it from a productive perspective
- Working through life’s challenges with other people
Too much of the time people drift through life accepting things as they are rather than doing something about them. We have more control than that. Sure, there are things that happen that are out of our control but, we have way more control than we choose to believe.
God knew what he was doing when He created the world. He knew we would need help, so He sent Jesus. Include Jesus in your group when you’re working through life’s challenges.
We can choose to embrace life’s difficulties and be stronger…or not!