A Question of Suffering

I recently stumbled across a website called Internet Cafe Devtions. This is a website that provides devotions for Christian women. They also have a weekly meme where a question is asked, and those who want to participate answer the question in a blog post. I thought I'd try it this week.

The question had to do with a story of a Missionary in the Congo who chose to stay and minister to the people there in a very dangerous time. She was attacked by a truckload of soldiers who did awful things to her, but she escaped with her life and was taken away from the Congo for her recovery. This is a quote from David Jeremiah regarding Helen's attitude about what happened to her.

"There was no bitterness within her, though Helen had experienced terrible, mindless evil. It would have been so easy to demand of God why He allowed these atrocities, when she had been so faithful to His service. But in her heart of hearts, she felt that God’s question would be, 'Can you thank Me for trusting you with this experience, even if I never tell you why?'"


We're supposed to tell our thoughts about this question.

I think if something similar had happened to me my first response would be to ask God why He had let this happen to me when all I was trying to do was to serve Him. I would probably start out depressed and maybe a little angry. But I'm not the type to stay that way, and I think if I heard the above question I would be able to say yes, that I would trust my Lord that He had let this happen for a reason, even if I never knew why.

Not that my questions and anger would go away just like that. I'm sure I would struggle with the why questions for years to come, and there would certainly be occasional moments of anger or bitterness. But the Lord is in control of everything that happens, "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28) I would find comfort in that verse, that there has to be some purpose in my suffering, even though I may never know it.

It's easy to say how I think I would react now, when I'm in the safety and comfort of my living room. The real test comes when something bad really does happen to you. But I'm still confident that I would respond in a very similar way to what I described above. Though I may have twinges of anger at God, I couldn't stay angry at Him. Though my faith my be in danger for a brief time, I couldn't lose it entirely. Though I may cry out to God why He would let this happen, I couldn't turn my back on Him. Because without Jesus, what else do I have? I know that though I may react in a very negative and ungodly way at first, He would gently draw me back, hold me together in my time of weakness, remind me to just trust Him, and bring me out stronger in the end. I'm safely in the palm of His hand, and He would never let me go; the only way I could get through it would be to cling to Him. I have nothing, I am nothing without Him, and He suffered much worse for me.

The following is one of my much loved songs sung by Aaron Shust, and I think the section in bold would be my refrain through a time of suffering, and I think the thought would bring me much comfort.

"I am not skilled to understand
What God has willed, what God has planned
I only know at His right hand
Stands one who is my Savior

I take Him at His word and deed
Christ died to save me; this I read
And in my heart I find a need
Of Him to be my savior

That He would leave His place on high
And come for sinful man to die
You count it strange, so once did I
Before I knew my Savior

Chorus (2x's)
My Savior loves, My Savior lives
My Savior's always there for me
My God: He was, my God; He is
My God is always gonna be

Yes, living, dying, let me bring
My strength, my solace from this spring;
That He who lives to be my King
Once died to be my Savior


That He would leave His place on high
And come for sinful man to die
You count it strange, so once did I
Before I knew my Savior

Chorus (2x's)
My Savior loves, My Savior lives
My Savior's always there for me
My God: He was, my God; He is
My God is always gonna be"
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OlyviaNoel said...

That seems like an interesting site - I'll have to check it out! And you're right, without Jesus, what more would we have? It would be pointless to stay angry and upset at God for a long time, when we know good and well that all was according to His plan. Nice thoughts :)

Brittney Galloway said...

Thanks for stopping by! It's nice to be in contact with some young women/newlyweds, because, up until a month ago, I only read mommy blogs, lol.

Also, I know OlyviaNoel, (like, in real life!) so that just made my day to see you are blogging friends with her!

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