Sunday Devotional: On Suffering

Habakkuk 1:2-3, 2:2-4

How long, O LORD?  I cry for help
 but you do not listen!
 I cry out to you, “Violence!”
 but you do not intervene.
 Why do you let me see ruin;
 why must I look at misery?
 Destruction and violence are before me;
 there is strife, and clamorous discord.
 Then the LORD answered me and said:
 Write down the vision clearly upon the tablets,
 so that one can read it readily.
 For the vision still has its time,
 presses on to fulfillment, and will not disappoint;
 if it delays, wait for it,
 it will surely come, it will not be late.
 The rash one has no integrity;
 but the just one, because of his faith, shall live.

Are you suffering?

I am weeping as I write this post, overcome with grief, having lost the two most important persons in my life in the space of a month.

For months, I had prayed for a miraculous intervention, but to no avail.

Do you, as I, lament as Job did in 30:20:

I cry to you, but you do not answer me;
I stand, but you take no notice.

But to suffer is to be human — suffering is the human condition.

If you find that unacceptable and demand an explanation, it’s right there in Genesis 3 — in the account of our first parents’ deliberate defiance of God’s explicit instruction, imagining in their preening grandiosity that they can become “like gods”.

But the exercise of free will is not free of consequence. As God had forewarned Adam and Eve, the issues of disobedience were dire indeed. By their fall, a door was opened to chaos; henceforth a price must be paid for being human. Where once was joy and ease, there would be suffering, hardship, and pain. The control of the soul’s spiritual faculties over the body is shattered, and humanity becomes vulnerable to the ravages of sickness, disease and eventual death.

And yet, narcissists that we are, when we are in the throes of suffering, we lament and wail “Why me?,” as if we alone should be spared from the universal human condition.

Did you know that researchers have found that religious, specifically Christian, faith is the most powerful non-pharmaceutical pain reducer?

St. Paul reminds us in Hebrews 4:15:

For we do not have a high priest
who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses,
but one who has similarly been tested in every way.

In other words, no one better understands and empathizes with our suffering than Jesus. So, when you are wracked with pain, physical or emotional, look to our Lord on the cross and ask for His help.

2 Timothy 1:7-8

For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice
but rather of power and love and self-control.
So…bear your share of hardship for the gospel
with the strength that comes from God.

May the peace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you,

~Eowyn

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greenworxxTrailDustReuben S.Dr. Eowynentagor Recent comment authors
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Cinderella Broom
Editor

Human love and compassion are no substitute for God’s sacrificial love, but are the best we can extend in times like this. Sending you uplifting and comforting thoughts with thanks for this post.

Carl Herman
Guest

Bless you, Sister! The “song of saints” is that all is indeed well in God’s kitchen of experiments, no matter how hot the oven might feel to an observer, the witnessing of eggs breaking, and a constant elimination of that which must be removed to the recycle bins. It’s a challenging song to learn, appreciate, and then dance to, but the only song one can sing as we see and feel more of the truth. Thank you for all your contributions over the years to be a true scholar documenting our most important facts in good faith, Eowyn. You are… Read more »

Alma
Member

And with Your Spirit, Amén. Dr. Eowyn, as I read today’s devotional I feel your suffering and acceptance of God’s design, THEY+ are now resting peacefully in the arms of the Almighty. Your strength is revealed in your emotions and may the days ahead bring peace to your aching heart.

Mary Haas
Guest
Mary Haas

May the Lord bless and keep you in perfect peace, Dr. Eowyn. Thank you for all you do.

DCG
Admin

Excellent post.

Lana
Guest
Lana

Thank you for this post Dr. E. And may you find some peace amidst your pain.

Jackie Puppet
Member

I’m so sorry to read about your losses – may the Lord give you the comfort you seek, Dr. E.

Truckjunkie
Guest
Truckjunkie

I am so sorry to hear of your losses-I know this kind of a loss in your life brings the loneliest feeling there is-it feels like nobody else can understand the pain you feel,but this pain truly is universal. I lost several loved ones in a relatively short time,both parents,my little sister,my ex wife,my dog,who I had since she chose my ex and I,some 17 years before (she was the runt of the litter -how could we ever say no),and another good friend just last Winter,from Pneumonia. As simplistic as it may be,I have to believe that there are are… Read more »

entagor
Guest
entagor

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: Psalm 23 Pastor Harold E Salem recently mentioned this Psalm. He said sheep are afraid to drink from rushing waters, because their wool can hold so much water. The pastor’s words created for me an image I keep going back to, how the Good Shepherd leads his sheep to the safety and comfort of still waters. Jesus said “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that… Read more »

Reuben S.
Guest
Reuben S.

I’ll be praying for your sorrow and his soul, doctor.

TrailDust
Admin

♥️

greenworxx
Guest
greenworxx

My heart aches for you Dr. Eowyn. May the Lord hold you in his arms as you deal with your losses. Thank you for this site and your research to keep your readers so very well informed.