Three years ago, I was asking a lot of questions about God, faith, and theology – even going so far as denying the existence of God. Nevertheless, asking those heavy questions made for a short dance with Atheism, which led to the foot of the cross, a message of grace, and a deeper understanding of what I believe and why I believe it. At that time, my pastor was talking with me about life, how intense my life has been, and if I ever pondered why me and my family go through a lot of hardship. I said, “No, I’m kind of used to it.” Today, I’m asking, “Why?”
I’ve never had much of a theology of human suffering and I stopped believing in Dispensationalism many years ago. If justification (salvation) is not about Eschatology (the end times) and God doesn’t cause our hardships, then why are some protected and sheltered, while others suffer? God must be saving us for something; if not, I don’t have a clue what I’m being saved from. Admittedly, my life has been a bit of a monsoon and it keeps raining hard and heavy – at some level I can live with this – but not today. I’ve watched people hurt, suffer, mourn, weep, die, and bleed more than I’ve ever gotten to see them blessed, smiling, laughing, and “living the dream.”
However, I’m a minister, a biblical scholar, and a theologian; therefore, I’m bound to have some view on this human suffering thing. Human suffering sucks, it’s not balanced in a socialist aspect across humanity, everyone can face hardship, and God allows it. Often, people blame God for the bad stuff in this life. Honestly, I think that’s because people don’t know why. It’s not God’s fault that my sixty-two year old father, who has more health issues than I can list, fell down a flight of stairs, breaking his back for the second time – but, it does piss me off.
Finally, I’m asking “why?” I’m tired of being “used to it.” I’m angry that I have to watch my dad slowly deteriorate every day from a chronic disease, I’m angry that this poor man has to endure a broken back – for the second time – on top of a life threatening disease, and I’m angry that someone, whom I love very much, has sacrificed everything for me; only to suffer for thirty years. In turn, I look to the God I believe to be gracious and loving, and ask a “never-ending why?”