It’s been a while since I’ve written anything. Sorry ’bout that. I have joined the Torah Babies team, and I wrote my first article for them, which took up my time, researching the subject.
I want to take a moment and try and talk about something that many have wondered, and a few have attempted to answer. I probably wont quote the bible too much, but I will be making references and allusions to it.
One thing that skeptics and critics like to point out is: “How can there be a God with all this suffering”. The truth is, there is a lot of suffering. Little innocent children and babies who suffer and die when they have not done anything wrong. Because of this, this has caused many to question the righteousness of God. Mainstream Christianity teaches that God is a loving God, and so He is, but when you focus on one thing too much, then your perspective becomes out of balance.
I can’t give an etymology as to when this belief, or thinking began. I have reason to believe though, that it was something that has been going on since at least Jesus’ time. Perhaps as far back as Job, or further.
We do know that back in the Ancient Near East, it was common for the people to have no idea what their gods rules were. The people figured if something bad happened, that it was because a god was angry. If it flooded, it was because someone upset the god and therefore the god was punishing them. If there was a drought, then it was because some god was angry and punishing them. If there was some sort of illness, or an outbreak of some sort, then a god was angry and punishing them. This is why the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is so different. See, God, at Sinai, gave His rules, His expectations to His people. We didn’t have to wonder any more. We knew that if we followed His rules, then He’d bless us, and if we broke His rules, then we’d be cursed.
You might be thinking: “That’s all fine and good, but that still doesn’t explain why God would allow suffering”, and you’d be right. One thing that certainly doesn’t help any is the way mainstream Christianity presents God. I’m not saying that God isn’t loving, as He is, but to focus so heavily on that is out of balance, and perhaps one reason why skeptics point this out.
Asking a question like this, while it may be normal, also shows our heart. What we’re doing, in reality, is sitting in judgement of God. A dangerous place to be. What we are doing is taking our sense of justice, and trying to judge the author of justice, by our feeble understanding of justice and righteousness. First, our thought shows an errant assumption, that there are “good” people. While people may be “good” by our definition, the reality is that we all have missed the mark. None of us are perfect, without sin.
Since I have been ‘suffering’ to some extent all my life, I feel like I am at least a little bit qualified to answer this. I seem to have a tendency to pick up ailments as I age. While I was born with asthma and allergies, when I was twelve I had my first seizure. At eighteen I developed psoiasis, which later became psoriatic arthritis. When I was in my early, to late twenties, my doctor, upon looking at x-rays, said I had a back of a seventy year old and recommended surgery for my neck. She pointed out that I had herniated disks, buldging disks, and degenerating disks. She noted how I had arthritis in my back. I declined the surgery at that time, but ended up being sort of ‘forced’ into it in 2014, when several doctors told me if I don’t have the surgery, the bones will fuse themselves and I could be paralyzed. When I was thirty-five I was diagnosed with type-one diabetes, late onset. In the summer of 2013 I was diagnosed with high blood pressure when I found myself sweating blood at work one day.
I have been prayed over numerous times, all to no effect. On one occasion my folks and I visited a friends church. Within minutes of entering the door, I was greeted by two people who said I had asthma, to which I afirmed, and asked if I’d like to be healed from it. Naturally I said yes. They prayed, and I still have asthma today. When things like this happen, it leaves you wondering. Is it me? Did I do something wrong? Did I not have enough faith?
When it’s a young child or a baby, it’s even worse. You wonder if God is punishing the baby because of what you did. You wonder if there was something you could have done different. Are we seeing similarities yet? If you said it reminds you of the ancient gods where people didn’t know what upset the gods, then you are right.
My wife was the survivor of terrible abuse as a kid. One day, when she was trying to understand why this happened to her, I had a thought about the mom who started MADD. It occurred to me that without her having to go through the incredible heartache of loosing a child, we’d never have MADD, and subsequently, we probably wouldn’t have most of the laws regarding driving under the influence.
There are lots of reasons why suffering happens, one of which is that we live in a fallen world. It’s of little comfort, to those suffering though. Do you tell a grieving mother that she lost her kid because of a fallen world? Yeah, that’d go over well.
A friend of mine, Roseann, recently wrote about pain and suffering.
Chronic Illness overwhelms
if not managed properly
until YHWH removes it
and this is a furnace of refinement
and therefore a responsibility to take seriously
in honor to HIM
What I mean is, life can become quite overwhelming and MS/Fibro/Raynaud’s, can and does magnify that.
What is simple is less simple
and what is difficult is more difficult.
That to say this, …
I have been given many studies to read, listen to, or watch recently,
BOTH Spiritual and Health based
blessed hard works of others in honor to Life and toward Torah/Messiah.
GREAT works of study based on long hours of diligence on the parts of those who put them together.
I am feeling a sense of need to explain why I have not remarked or interjected in them more than just the “like button.
I hit “Like” to acknowledge them, but all too often cannot study them.
This has been a hard few days for me, health issues rose to the degree where I need more rest and less stress, even the good stretching stress type, not only the negative stress.
HOWEVER, even on my very best days I need to strictly monitor my study load that it does not over tax me, …”pacing and calm” being the vital key of my successful health management. Not having a he;ping hand here makes it CRITICAL and IMPERATIVE that I strictly follow this policy re my activity and my study and my thought processes also.
Getting overwhelmed in physical, mental, and emotional, … NOT GOOD and not conducive to me staying able to care for myself, again …with zero help.
That said, , I am so blessed to receive these studies and teachings and works, because it means you people care and want me to be blessed as they were blessed, yet I am not able to read, watch and listen to much more than what I already on my own plate for my personal study diet which has been very carefully planned out and purposed both in topics and in need presently for my own ministry.
Oh that I could devour all offerings and be full with the info without getting overwhelmed and hitting the brick wall that erases all info, …MS is the cinder blocks, Fibro is the rebar and Raynaud’s is the mortar.
PLEASE do not be offended or hurt that I cannot respond to your offerings, oh please understand my sincere heart here. I simply cannot afford to set my own studies aside for all the sweet offerings, nor can I add to my full study plan as it is.
PLEASE know I am grateful you think of me, and do not discount your work or care, it is just that I can get from 2 to 10 or more of such offerings a day. Even two can overload my systems. Heck, even my very own can overload my systems!
These illness’ are in this way a sort of structure for me, they teach me how to structure life properly and when they are gone and healed I will be grateful for their lessons as I know this will aid me in life from now onward in a very good way, discipline !
***And while on this line of explanation toward understanding and clarity , … Likewise, … I am not one to do long thread interactions nor long private messaging for casual conversation. It taxes me more than I can say. HOWEVER, I will go all day hour after hour for the sake of souls and with those who WANT to understand and know the Truth in Messiah.
I will not do the same with those who want to bicker or wrestle, and I simply don’t as a rule carry on casual conversation for the sake of conversing, though I love everyone and wish I could
I truly am a woman of few words, necessary words, and not much more than that. By necessity
I love you
I am grateful for your consideration for me
Shabbat Shalom and MUCH Love/Ahavah , always
Keep up the Good Fight, and Holy Work ! YHWH bless you in it !
Here are some things I’ve learned about suffering. Illness, disabilities, teach us dependency on God. Illness, disability, can teach us to truly value life, because each day is a struggle and each day is fleeting, and we never know when it comes to an end. Sometimes, we long for it to end, as it brings our struggle to an end. But this is only one aspect of it. There is also the fact that enduring an illness, disability, can inspire others. To see people who handle illness, disability, with grace and dignity, seems to be something that inspires people, and causes them to desire to achieve that in their own lives. Some times, it’s God trying to teach us something. With the apostle Paul, he asked three times and was told: “My grace is sufficient for you” (2 Cor 12:9). An illness or disability isn’t necessarily the result of sin. Some times it’s there to show God’s glory, through healing, or other means. The simple fact is, we can’t always see how God may use our suffering. The suffering of one mother loosing her child to drunk driving lead to the organization MADD, as I mentioned above, and to laws regarding driving under the influence, which has lead to safer roads. Some times, God’s glory shines the brightest in the midst of our suffering. Healing isn’t the only way that God can be glorified. When we can go through and endure suffering in a manner that honors God, then He is magnified and glorified. And when He is glorified, even if it is through our suffering, how can we complain?