The Problem with pain is that we say God is loving yet pain is everywhere. Where is God in the midst of pain? And does God suffer? These questions brought about heated discussion in class today.
Pain is unavoidable. It is everywhere. We all see it, experience it, and live through it. As Lewis says, "Pain is unmasked, unmistakable evil." But the question we all have is why does pain even exist? The answer is simple. Pain exists because we are a fallen people because of sin. We brought the evil upon ourselves. And as discussed a few days ago, God does not create evil but he allows it. It is because of that evil that pain exists but God exists too and he is the ultimate source of comfort.
Revenge, in my opinion, is one of the greatest of pains. Revenge is purposeful vengeance that usually results in more pain than the original situation presented. Revenge might feel good for a moment but the resulting pain can last for a lifetime. Revenge wants the victim to feel the pain they feel but in the end it just makes their pain run deeper.
So where is God? He is there, we just are not listening. Its seems that we all lead our lives the way we want to until we get into trouble or someone we love gets sick, or dies; we fall into bankruptcy or fall under a drug addiction before we cry out to God. God is our last resort. He is an interruption in our otherwise perfect lives until something goes wrong. Then all of a sudden we are dying to talk to him, begging for his attention, pleading for his help. Maybe if he were in a constant communicative relationship with God the pain wouldn't seem so bad.
The question of the day for discussion today was "Does God suffer?" In my opinion, yes God suffers. He knows the ultimate depths of suffering that none of us can even imagine. Even though He is a supreme being God has emotions. This does not mean, however, that he necessarily suffers with us but that he suffers for us. Ever pain we feel he feels too. The difference between God and us is that he can conquer suffering with the snap of a finger but we have no control. God suffers because he loves us and made the ultimate sacrifice for us by sending his son to die for our sins. And while he can feel pain for us he also feels pain because of us. I believe that every time we sin God is pained. He is hurt by our repeated actions against us. But even though we mess up time and time again he is still forgiving and loving.
Suffering is a necessary part of life. It is part of what makes us stronger and better Christians if we can learn from it the way God intends us to. A fellow peer, Samuel, said that "when God wants to give us a present He wraps it in a problem. The bigger the problem, the bigger the present in the end." Life is a gift from God that we do not deserve. Suffering is just a small part of this great gift. As Professor Adriana said in class, "You might fall, but continue because every problem is a step towards eternity!" God never gives us more than we can handle so keep on pressing on!