Cornerstone Magazine Spring 2014 - Page 19

D SUFFERING MONICA PEREZ AND MICHAEL ROBINSON By not addressing the paradox itself, we do nothing to adequately prove the non-existence of God, but merely criticize our perception of God’s character. Our main issue is, “If I were God, I would have done it better.” We abandon faith because we are tired of waiting, or we no longer trust God to actually show up. It’s an angry declaration that says, “People shouldn’t have to hurt like this!” or, often times, “I shouldn’t have to hurt like this!” Ultimately, we work to eradicate the pain in our lives, and alienate God from the process. The real question we should be asking is, “How would a good God allow me to go through such pain and suffering?” We see natural disasters, mass murders, disease, mental illness, and hatred, but God can still be trusted. And God is faithful. As we entrust ourselves to Him in our pain and in our compassion for others, He reveals His true goodness and justice in the midst of chaos. Perhaps by God’s design, a suffering heart, if softened, can more easily be enlarged and filled with love. God is eager to share the strangeness of His joy with everyone. But we have to enter the pain. When you and I are deeply hurt, what we really need is not a justification from God, but a revelation of God. Tim Keller states in one of his books: “To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything. It liberates us from pretense, humbles us out of our self-righteousness, and fortifies us for any difficulty life can throw at us.” We need to see the greatness of God and recover perspective on life. Things become distorted when we are suffering, and it takes an understanding of something bigger than ourselves to realign life’s dimensions again. 19