This is the third post in a series of three posts back to back, and you can go here for the first one.
If we are ready to blame God for the hard times, do we thank him for the good times? If he is responsible for the trials and tribulations, then he is also responsible for the prosperity and peace. Yet often we don’t pay attention to him until life gets difficult.
One of the ways we can come to a more balanced and healthy relationship with God is to remember the good he has done for us and given us.
In the book of Job in the Bible, there is a scene where Job, the protagonist, is sitting in pain. He has lost nearly everything he owns and all his children. His wife comes to him and tells him to just curse God and end it all already. What did they have to live for now? But he responds with this.
Shall we receive the good at the hand of God, and not receive the bad?Job 2:10b (NRSVCE)
You could ask, “If God is good, why does he let me suffer?” But just as poignant a question is this, “If God is bad, why is life so full of joy?”
I Know it, but I Don’t Feel It
If I am a Christian or Catholic, I already know the answer to why God allows suffering. We already know that he is working all things together for our good, so that’s usually not our issue.
The problem is we don’t feel it, and when we are in the middle of suffering, the pain is all we feel.
So give your heart something else to cling to. Are you angry about Covid and the fact that you can’t see friends and family? Remember all the days God gave you with them, and most likely all the days he will give you after this. Are you angry that you lost your job? Remember all the ways God has provided for you in the past and how he has promised to provide for you in the future.
Remember that Heaven is our final end where God will wipe every tear from our eyes. The same God who is giving you days of sadness has given you days of joy, too, and he will one day make those days go on forever.
Gratitude does not come easy. Like every virtue, it is something we have to practice. We grow in it as we take the time to sit and remember all that God has done for us. But once we start, the blessings begin to pile up in our minds. Our hearts can slowly begin to thaw and beat again with love for God.
In the next post, I’ll take a look at God’s final word on the meaning of suffering.
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