MYW4.5 Problems of Suffering – Whiteboard
Here are the four steps that frame this question well.
The first two steps are practical and pastoral, but pastoral in the sense of courageous as well as comforting.
I AM WITH YOU – THINGS WE CAN DO FIRST
Talk about how we might approach the question and the questioner
How do we say “I don’t know”, or just say nothing.
How to stay close and not let the suffering or death or anger turn us away.
Stay the course through the long grief. Most others stop after three weeks.
GOD IS WITH YOU – GLIMPSES OF GREATER GOOD WORKING IN
God suffers with us, sends us comforters.
God knows what it’s like to suffer. He watched his son die from betrayal
You find out who your real friends are!
Find out what we are truly made of.
Witness awesome human resilience
Carers such as doctors and nurses are simply amazing
The next two steps go upstairs for the larger view, and require a capacity for perspective. If a person is still raw they cannot make these steps.
GOOD COMES – NAMING WHAT WE ARE NOW GRATEFUL FOR
Good is coming out of the evil
We now know how to care for someone else in this situation
Challenged to care more deeply about the things that really matter
Realize how much richness we have already – thanksgiving
If we did not struggle we would appreciate nothing.
GOD COMES – WHAT IS GOD DOING AND PLANNING
The gift of life points to a giver who calls us to be givers.
God is working with a world that can recognize him if they want to.
The world is both very beautiful and very broken, not just one or the other.
Realize our own giftedness and how cherished. Ready to give.
God has set a day when all the wrong will be set right, and sent Jesus to light the way to it.