by Rev. Fr. V.V. Paulose, Toronto, Canada
"My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine for ever." (Psalm 73:26)
Why would a loving God allow his loved ones to suffer in this world?
All of us have experienced suffering in one way or the other. When it comes, our usual first reaction is non-acceptance followed by resentment, and finally, we cope up with reality.
In the first place, we should realize that a large fraction of our sufferings is brought out by what we do to one another. It is purely our choice that we disobey the moral laws of God.
Secondly, there is an order of evolutionary process in this universe and our lives too, are engaged in this process. The consequences of that can include a cancer gene in the normal process of cell division.
Thirdly, when we face challenges, frustrations, and sufferings, we should remember this - God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains - it is His megaphone to awaken deaf, self-centered creatures to not lose their sense of nobility or determination to work for the betterment of others.
Lastly, our experience as spiritual creatures is not limited to what we know and observe during our earthly lifetime; the human sufferings take on a wholly new context. Buddha, in the Deer Park sermon begins with, "Life is suffering." For the believer, this realization can paradoxically be a source of great comfort.
A scientist tells about his daughter, a young medical research college student, who was blind-folded and raped at gun point. The perpetrator was never caught. The father and daughter were devastated. "My daughter's rape was a challenge for me to try to learn the real meaning of forgiveness in a terrible heart wrenching situation. In complete honesty, I am still working on that. Perhaps this was also an opportunity for me to recognize that I could not protect my daughter from all pain and sufferings; I had to learn to entrust them to God's loving care, knowing that this provided not an immunization from evil, but a reassurance that their suffering would not be in vain. Indeed, my daughter would say that this experience provided her with an opportunity and motivation to counsel and comfort others who have gone through the same kind of assault."
The world is imperfect and the most crucial decision that we have to make on this earth is a decision about belief. The most important relationship that we should develop on this earth is a relationship with God. Then, human sufferings take on a completely new context.
Jesus, we pray for all those who are struggling with pain and sorrows. Let them know the meaning of all the challenges that they are facing. Your miraculous intervention can do wonders and healings. We ask this in the name of Jesus.
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