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,