Human pain and suffering is a constant. It is the low drone note ringing through the stuff of the universe. If one could actually “hear” suffering its sound would be piercing and constant across our world. There is never even a moment where suffering and anguish is extinguished on this fallen earth. But many of us lives years of our lives with our encountering the interior landscape of pain ourselves. And then one day something breaks somewhere and that loud drone cuts to the very core of our souls as well. That something might be the loss of someone so dear and so assumed to be a constant in your life. It might be your own physical suffering or disappointment at a bad decision that wreaks havoc across your life. And then in those very moments that fallenness and twisted nature of our world comes through so clearly. The drone note sounds. Until such time we observe at a distance the pain of others. We wrestle with the meaning of it, yet at a distance. Until the distance evaporates and we become the very subject of this pain ourselves.
What can we learn at times like this? How do we distill some valuable lesson from pain? As a believer in a good, merciful and just Creator how do we see Him in such times?
O pain of loss, O note of melancholy
You indeed have the power to take me to that place again
Where I doubt the very ground of faith on which I stand
But though the pincers squeeze my very soul and breath,
I shall not let evil spring forth from the lips He made
I rise in my inner man to seek Him who cares and bless Him
Who shows His tender mercies daily.
But The Enemy says, “If He cares He will take away all pain”.
And I say, “He has, in the now and not yet”
If pain is finite and reward and pleasure and peace are infinite (the Christian Proposition) then can we really press God to the mat and say,”Why do you allow me to suffer?” and do so with justice?