Monday, January 2, 2012

Is God trying to tell me something?

Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. 
Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish (Luke 13:3-5).

Many attempt to figure suffering, as if it were a mathematical equation just waiting for someone genius enough to work it out. 

Perhaps the worst part of suffering is that it outpaces us; it keeps its steady death-ward march as we hunt for clues and propose formulas. 

Jesus addressed suffering in a variety of ways. Here are a quick few: 
1. He had compassion, and healed some sufferers. Yet, they all died (and likely suffered) again (which makes me think: the late Dr. Jack Kervorkian would not have been a fan of resurrection or healing).
2. He said that at least some suffering was not connected to personal sin (John 9:3).
3. He also said that people who did not repent might expect to suffer something worse than that which we now experience (Luke 13:3,5, text above). 
People often ask, "is God trying to tell me something?" Jesus' answer to that question in Luke 13:3-5, is an unequivocal "yes." But Jesus side-stepped the notion that God was pointing to any particular individual - or their sin - in the tragedies mentioned. 

There was a message to be gleaned from the circumstances, but it wasn't vindictive, as men often suppose. Without a specific revelation on a matter of suffering (such as Job, for example), this information is simply not available (and by virtue, not necessary). 

Through blessings, through the Scriptures, through Providence, through nature, and through suffering - God is ALWAYS trying to tell me something, if I am listening. 

"He who has ears to hear, let him hear...

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