The Problem of Pain

“But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pain: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”

This is a quote from CS Lewis' "The Problem of Pain".
I read this book a few years ago as I went through a CS Lewis phase and bought practically every book he's ever written and today this quote jumped to my mind.

I've seen a tremendous amount of pain in the last few weeks, some of my own and plenty for others. Death, Divorce, Sickness, Emotional Hurt, Confusion, Failed Attempts, Broken Plans, and Loss of Direction. There's been more than enough pain.

Today I received a phone call from another friend, in pain, and I thought about this quote and I clung to the belief that God speaks to us in our hurts and hope that this person would listen for Him.

There's so much about life that is unexplainable to us in this moment. I will say I am thankful for my personality in that I'm not so much of an analyzer that I need an answer for every situation, I can let life roll and not get to hung up on the things I don't understand, yet I fully realize not everyone has that luxury.

People are built with a hunger for knowledge, a want to explain and understand, especially when the thing we don't understand caused us pain.

When someone young dies, when a girl who was raped gets pregnant, when we worked extremely hard for something to no avail, when we thought we made the right choice and it doesn't work out, when you thought that relationship would work and it didn't, when love fades, when cancer strikes, or simply when life doesn't feel right... questions come, There is a desire for comfort in explanation and knowledge.

We're not wrong for wanting to understand... check this out: Proverbs 4:7
The beginning of wisdom is: Acquire wisdom; And with all your acquiring, get understanding.

My concern is where we choose to get understanding from. In times of pain we want understanding from others (not that this won't happen), perhaps we want God to speak it to us (not that this won't happen either), but the true place of wisdom is straight from the Word.

When life throws a curve ball see what the Word says about it.

First off we know that this hard stuff is going to happen:
1 Peter:
12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.

or even better look at what Jesus said

John 16:33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.

I know things have been difficult. I know that death, discouragement, disappoint, etc are hard, but the Word promises great reward for those who rejoice and stand firm in suffering (James 1, 1 Peter 1) It's in these times that we get to prove our faith is genuine and remember without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6)

Standing firm doesn't mean we can't cry, it doesn't mean we can't mourn, it means not losing faith, finding Word to put on our situation, and remembering that weeping is for a time but joy comes in the morning. The Word says to rejoice when faced with these trials.

I know many times my heart has hurt over various situations in the last few weeks and my desire is to be found faithful. To cast my care upon the Lord knowing that He cares for me (1 Peter 5:7), to seek Him and His word for my comfort and understanding. I love this quote.

We all know people who have been made much meaner and more irritable and more intolerable to live with by suffering: it is not right to say that all suffering perfects. It only perfects one type of person ...... the one who accepts the call of God in Christ Jesus. --Oswald Chambers

I don't want to be beat down under trial I want to rise up in faith. My prayers go up and my heart goes out for those hurting in the midst of various trials right now! Breakthrough will come.

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:4

As always,
Be Blessed,
J. Tate