Where is God when it Hurts?

painI really need to finish Phillip Yancy’s book, Where’s God when it Hurts?, because I need to understand why some people have to suffer through painful ordeals.

According to Yancy, we need pain to survive.

What?

So are you telling me that people need to lose loved ones through gang violence, women need to experience rape, and children be kidnapped to survive?

I have only read the first 3 chapters,which detail the importance of physical pain. The examples I’ve given are emotional so I need to finish the book to get an answer.

Physical pain alerts the brain that something is wrong so that we can do something to remove the pain. He provides the example of lepers, people who suffer from the disease of leprosy. Leprosy is a contagious disease in which the victim can not feel anything. They can only feel pressure. Since the victim cannot feel pain, they exert more force than usual on their body and therefore their body deteriorates. The author gives an example of a young boy with leprosy who insisted in helping the author open a door. The young boy used so much force to turn the lock to open the door that he broke his wrist!

Here’s the thing, instead of crying or screeching in pain he was rejoicing at his accomplishment. That’s the problem. If he had pain receptors he would not have continued to open the door because the pain in his wrist would be too unbearable for his brain. The pain would have signaled to him to stop.

Pain protects you and helps you make wise decisions in the future like not to touch fire.

But how about emotional pain, how does one deal with that? Does the reasoning apply?

I ask this because I recently found out some disturbing news about something that happened to a loved one.  The news was heartening, sickening and frankly, painful. Furthermore, I kept thinking about the pain that my loved one endured and the pain that will continue emotionally and mentally for life.

This was pain that was inflicted on so it could not be stop as in the case of physical pain when we could simply remove our hand from the stove to stop the pain. My loved one couldn’t do that. So what about in those cases?

Why did this have to happen? And most importantly, where was God?

Job from the Bible asked these questions and more when he was suffering, however, he came to the conclusion that because of his sufferings he will “come forth as gold.” Job 23:10.

Gold has to go through a very hot furnace in order to look shiny, gleaming and beautiful.

That’s great and I understand the illustration that God allows us to go through fire, hell, struggles and pain in order for us to be strong, powerful, amazing and beautiful.

However, a part of me still doesn’t buy it. Certain afflictions are more painful than others and I wish my loved one didn’t have to suffer.

I guess through this journey, I’ll find out where God is during this time or maybe I will never understand.

But I do know one thing; I truly hope that my loved one will press on and “come forth as gold”.

 

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