A friend asked me a question today that I have been asked many times over the last 16 years:
How has your faith remained strong during the difficult times of life?
I have blogged before on the subject, on my beliefs on this subject, but I felt like writing about it again after the question. During the holidays, when most people are celebrating, there are also many who are in pain and questioning their faith. I understand that pain. I sympathize with the struggles. I want to help.
As we all have witnessed, this world is full of pain and suffering. Kirby and I have experienced one of the very worst things that could ever happen to parents, losing a child. It is a pain that is indescribable and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. There is so much misery, evil, hatred and adversity around us. Why does bad things happen to good people?
Why doesn’t God step in and rescue us? Why does God let us suffer?
As I have said before, my faith and explanation is pretty simple. I do not have an education in theology, it is just the way I get through life. And it includes the following ideas:
1. When we were created, we were not made to be God’s puppets. He gave us free will, and with the advantages of making our own decisions comes people those who do things to hurt others.
2. Part of being human, is being fallible. Our bodies were made to have a limited shelf-life, and each birth comes with imperfections. God chose not to make us perfect, not to punish us but to give us opportunities to reach for something better.
3. With every tear shed here on earth, I believe that God feels our pain. He knows how many hairs we have on our heads, He catches and counts our tears, and He shares all our pain and joy. He wants us all to be happy, but He chooses to let us live this life and hopes we will lean on Him during the good and bad times.
4. This life is temporary. God became human through Jesus, Jesus suffered and died, all so that we are given the opportunity to join them in Heaven. Someday, when we are able to sit at His feet, we will forget the pain of this world. Those who suffered the greatest and still found strength to praise Him, those who felt the pain of this life, will be the ones that have the best seats in Gods sanctuary.
5. Lastly, I do not believe that God is testing us with pain and suffering. I don’t think that He uses evil to punish us. I don’t believe that God is revengeful. The God I worship, is a loving God. The God I worship, is one who wants us to join Him when we leave this life.
As I said, I have a very simple belief system. It helps me get through the painful days, it gives me hope for a better future, and it keeps me believing that I will see my loved ones again. During Ryan’s illness, he told us that he knew where he was going. I know that I will join him one day.