Thursday, 16 July 2009

Thursday Thoughts

I was out on my Street Pastors duty recently, when I had a conversation about which I'd like to hear your thoughts.

It was one of those five minute chats in which a huge subject came up and there wasn't the time or even an appropriate context for properly discussing the issue.

The issue boiled down to the old question of why God allows suffering. It wasn't framed as a question - more of a commentary on someone's own experience of life.

The conversation I had was with a young guy. He was very complimentary about what we were doing and I sensed was open to God - or at least to the idea of God. His difficulty was that he had experienced quite a lot of pain - he didn't go into detail.

In the few minutes I had with him, I said something like this:

"I don't know what caused your pain or why what happened to you did happen. I do know that Jesus loves you and that if you respond to His love, He is able to turn your pain into something that can be used to help others." (I felt that simply saying "Jesus can heal your pain" seemed almost dismissive of whatever he had experienced).

Someone else came and joined the conversation. He shook my hand and was gone.

Does Jesus turn our pain into something that can be used to help others? What do you think? What would you have said?


Werewolf Dude said...

I personally would I said, 'Sorry I don't know the answer.' Perharps not the best thing to say, but the only honest answer I could give.

Without knowing the cause of someones suffering it is very diffcult to make a comment as to why God allows it.

Sometimes ours/others choices come into it. For example if I smoke fifty cigs a day and then get lunger cancer that is my choice causing me suffering. If someone steals all my goods then their choice is causing me suffering.

Sometimes suffering can make us stronger/more conpasinate (sic) from a personal perspective I believe I suffer with painc attacks so I can help others who suffer with them, though I don't always succed.

At other times suffering can show us parts of ourselves we don't like, for example a hot temper, guilty as charged.

Does becoming a Christian remove all suffering? Hmm no, but it gives a sense of peace sometimes.

Remember Horatio Spaford?

James said...

Thanks Werewolf Dude. Horatio Spafford - now there's a man who could teach us a thing or to about suffering. Perhaps I should have told his story!

Werewolf Dude said...

'When peace attendth my way like a mighty river flow.'

Spaford's story is inspiring, a good example to us all.