Monday, April 14, 2014

Senseless Loss, Meaningful Suffering

You've heard the phrase, "such a senseless loss."  

We might hear it said over the premature death of someone. Cancer. A preventable accident. An act of violence. The suffering of hundreds, millions, at the hand of an overlord. Tragedy.


Which is to say, we can't find the meaning in it.

Or is it instead, full of meaning? Working an eternal work of God's glory within us as we wrestle with Him in our suffering. In our grief and loss. Our pain and sorrow.

King Soleman looked around his kingdom at all the suffering, the oppression, and pain, and declared there is nothing new under the sun. The world has known pain and suffering since its birth. Meaningless, meaningless. meaningless, he declared.


Or is it instead, full of meaning? Doesn't the way of the cross of Jesus Christ instead  give life to our sufferings? The very opportunities God uses to encounter us. To meet us. To walk with us. To raise us up to new life in Christ.

About this time, the week before Christ's death on the cross, the disciples sensed it was coming. Something big. Really, really big.

John 12:23-25
New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
"23 Jesus replied, 'The hour has come for the Son of Man to receive glory. 24 What I’m about to tell you is true. Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only one seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. 25 Anyone who loves his life will lose it. But anyone who hates his life in this world will keep it and have eternal life.'"

by permission:

They'd witness God's great power, sat at the feet of their servant King Jesus, walked with him, talked with him.

Yet hours after Christ's death, it seemed senseless, and for naught. 
Doubt, fear, anger rushed in to replace hope and faith in His teachings and His love.
Suddenly the really, really big thing seemed empty and hopeless.

Like Christ, we beg for our cups of suffering to pass from us.
And like Him, when we turn loose of our own will, our own life, He produces meaning.
He makes us live again.
He raises us up with Him.
And in this, is the mystery of the cross and the way of Christ.
And it's really really BIG. So big, it's hard to grasp.

For meditation in song, click the link: "Though You Slay Me" by David Crowder

May you find new meaning this week as you prepare for Easter and as you are reminded of Christ's suffering and atoning act upon the cross.

Blog post by Anne Love-
Writer of Historical Romance inspired by her family roots. 
Nurse Practitioner by day. 
Wife, mother, writer by night. 
Coffee drinker--any time.
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  1. We may never fully know why certain things happen until we get to Heaven. When I see so many young people dying or being killed I think perhaps there was something in their future so horrific that God didn't want them to go through so He took them on to be with Him. That's the only way that I can deal with the loss.

  2. "Why" may ultimately be the wrong question, since we look at loss from an external perspective. In the end it's really between the sufferer and God, and so the question we should ask is "what may we do to help?"

    I'm dealing with an illness that is trying to kill me, in a very tiresome and painful way (the one thing I'll ever have in common with Patrick Swayze!).

    I don't ask why. It's here, it's a given, and my only desire is to face every day with honor, and hope that in some way I might live an exemplary life.

    Well, an exemplary death, but you know what I mean.

    1. I like to believe there's healing even in dying, and especially in dying. Healing has many forms beyond the absence of disease and suffering, in fact, these might be the richest--though the costliest. I trust, Andrew, that you will find the riches. As to the why? I always reminds me of C.S. Lewis's The Horse and His Boy, and I may not get it 100% accurate, but the boy begins to ask about his friend's suffering. The answer is, that's her story, not yours; you must only find that answer in your own story.

  3. Thank you for that timely post on the meaning of suffering, Anne!!

    I firmly believe God has a purpose for good in everything He causes or allows to happen. I can empathize with Andrew and admire his comments, as I'm now experiencing cancer for the second time. I don't ask why me, rather - why not me?? I'm not above any other of God's creations and my suffering pales in comparison to that of Christ!! My prayer is for the courage and strength to face my trials in an exemplary way - as with Andrew - and strive for the joy I should have in anticipation of the mighty works God can/will perform through my illness!!

  4. Anne, thank you for this thought provoking post. We can trust that He works in all things for our good. His goal is for us to be Christ-like. The bitter and sweet become a sweet fragrance to Him. Have a wonderful week!


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