anyone living a semi-observant life can see that grief is ubiquitous. whether from loss of a loved one, a marriage, a job, a home, or physical ability, sadness and suffering are just a part of living on this earth. every person you know will be touched by hardship or heartache at some point in their life.
those who follow Christ are graced with a more eternal perspective through these sorrows, and often are fortunate enough to be able to look back and see in retrospect how God used the circumstances for good.
many of these people would say The Good that came from The Bad is why the tragedy occurred. they draw comfort, strength, and meaning from the blessed opportunities that arise out of sour situations…and that’s fine. maybe they’re right.
but i could never reconcile that concept, because it seemed like a never-ending downward spiral to me. could it really be true that the reason i had to endure this trial was so that i could minister to others in a similar situations down the line? is it possible that those people experienced their painful loss so that they in turn could help someone else through a difficult time? it all seems a little unnecessary. i believe Christ is honored when we “pay it forward,” but wouldn’t it be much better to stop the flow at the top and save everyone the pain?
at least, that’s what someone in pain thinks. when the clay of your character is being molded into something more beautiful by The Potter, you’re always going to feel like you were much better off before all the squeezing and squishing.
now it’s certainly not for me to determine every detail of the Divine Intent of God, but i believe we were put on this earth to live in community, and i have a feeling that in a perfect, painless, predictable world, humans would have little need to lean on and support each other.
honestly, i need to do a little more digging on this one before i take a firm theological stance, but my belief is that God does not purpose difficult things to happen just so He can bring beauty from the mourning. it’s not so much “this happened SO THAT God could…” and more “BECAUSE OF this misfortune, God will use it…
and i feel like my response to hard times should be in accordance. i don’t want to have a martyr’s attitude, saying, “this happened to me because God wants to use it…” i’d rather acknowledge that trouble characterizes this fallen world, and say, “because adversity has touched my life, i will let God use it for His glory.
do you think that is an accurate depiction of God’s work on the earth? anyone have some solid scripture to back up my limited studies on this line of reasoning?