“What if God, whose wisdom and justice are beyond our understanding, decided to rain down severe suffering upon Job without feeling the need to tell him why? Do you want to love a God who would do this? Could you love a God like this?”Erasing Hell by Francis Chan
Sometimes I think I have no room to speak into hurt and pain in people’s lives. I tell myself that my life has been too easy, that I’ve never had any real pain to deal with.
But when I stop and start recounting my life, I realize that’s not true.
I haven’t experienced other people’s trials…I’ve had my own.
I’ve experienced pain.
I’ve experienced loss.
I’ve experienced hurt.
I’ve experienced anxiety and irrational fear.
And I’ve seen myself and my friends handle these hardships and more, and I’ve read the words of others handling those same hardships and worse… And I hurt for those I’m watching go through pain, but I think that there is nothing I can say because I’ve never experienced exactly what they are going through.
And sometimes I can’t know exactly.
But more often, pain is pain and God is good and there aren’t any answers to give anyways, just comfort in Jesus.
But I want to give them answers.
And I want answers for my own struggles.
I’ve asked my questions of God, but even in the darkest moments, my heart has been afraid to be harsh with the God whose hand allowed those troubles. Because even in the darkest storm something in me has always known that we don’t fully understand.
For years I thought it just was me. That I was too young, too ignorant, too inexperienced. But as the moments of my life pass quietly by, I’m learning that it’s not just me that doesn’t understand.
Because why would the creation expect to fully understand the Creator? Why would the clay expect to be able to philosophize the mind and intentions of the Potter?
“And…Job arrived at the most important point: It’s not about figuring out all of the mysteries of God, but embracing Him and cherishing Him-even when He doesn’t make perfect sense to us.”
Erasing Hell by Francis Chan
In the end, how can we be anything but grateful for the understanding we have been given? Because we know that He is good, that His love never fails, and that we have an eternal hope.
I’ve been reading the book quoted above and part of me keeps wanting to put the book down and never pick it back up. But it’s like drinking Pepto-Bismol when you have the stomach flu. You know it will bring to the surface a lot of ugly and pain, and yet you also know that it is the best way to bring life and healing to your body.
Because it can be painful to face the fact that I may never get answers to some of my deepest “whys” and to realize that God is still good and God is still love.
Because I hurt when I watch others go through the thick of the questions and the whys and the railing at God, and I hurt because I want to give answers but I know that I don’t have them and probably never will. And I want to grab their hands and drag them into the truth of how much God loves them and show them how tight He is holding them even as they are kicking and screaming at Him.
But I can’t.
So I’m silently watching with a heart hurting and prayers flowing.
And I wish they could see the comfort I’ve been shown. I wish they would reach out and cling to the comfort and healing of Jesus for themselves.
Because I know the pain and the confusion of life, but I also know the peace that passes understanding and the joy in the midst of broken.
So I pray hard and seek to speak life to them and I think again and I remember that my own heart still needs telling. And I ask myself again, “Could I love a God like this?”
A God that allows pain and suffering without explanation.
A God of ruthless justice.
A God I can never hope to fully understand.
A God who doesn’t promise us that it will always make sense.
And I must say yes.
I must say yes, because this God I can’t comprehend is also a God of love.
A God who subjected Himself to unthinkable pain in order to love me.
A God that promised to wipe away all my tears in heaven someday.
A God of mercy and grace beyond anything I can imagine or give.
“Could I love a God like this?”
“Could I love Him?”
For me, the answer is, I must.
For without Him the answers are even less, the path far more confusing, and the hope far less certain.
For with Him there is hope in the midst of tragedy, peace that doesn’t make sense, and joy that cannot be explained with human logic.
“Could I love a God like this?”
Yes…because He is God.