Why Did It Happen to Me?
Wayne sent me a great devotional by Richard Rohr on Suffering. I found myself brought up short several times by statements Rohr made, just having to stop and fully absorb the truths of his article. We know from what Jesus has said that “in this world you will have trouble,” (John 17:33) and Peter tells us “do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you,” (I Peter 4:12). But we are still surprised, aren’t we? We somehow feel we should be insulated from suffering, and that if we are suffering, we have done something wrong.
Because of this, humans instinctively try to get out of the suffering. Immediately. At least, I think we Americans do. We are not used to suffering, so we try even harder to avoid it than people who suffer as a matter of daily living.
Rohr says in the article that we try to “fix the pain, control it, or even, foolishly, to try to understand it.” That sentence jumped out at me. Of course we try to fix the pain or control it. And we really want to understand it. That one resonates most with me. I feel like if I can understand some suffering, if there’s a purpose to it, I can endure it better.
But God never promises an explanation for us. After all the questions Job has, he receives no answer for “why” from God. WE get the explanation at the beginning of the book, but Job never does. I want to ask God “Why not? Why didn’t you explain it to Job?”
But apparently God is not interested in our understanding the reasons behind suffering. He requires childlike faith. Sometimes as a parent you can’t give a comprehensive explanation to your child for why something is the way it is. You just have to hope they will trust you. God is asking the same of us. Richard Rohr tells us when we can hold this pain, when we see what it has to teach us, when we can “make our wounds sacred wounds,” it transforms us. I encourage you to read his article found in the link.