What Possible Good Can Come from This?

Romans 8:18-25 / Lk 13:18-21

Suffering is one of those unhappy, insistent facts of life that we’d rather not think about. It’s no respecter of youth or age, or of power or position: all are treated impartially to its attentions. Afflictions of mind and spirit, sickness of soul, agonies of the body, all take their turns in upsetting our plans and hopes.

So what are we to do with the sufferings that inevitably come our way? What are we to make of these uninvited guests whose invasion of our lives seems to make no sense at all? Why does a supposedly loving God allow suffering to happen? Those are questions we’d do well to think very hard about before we face the worst of what life may bring.

If we are truly Christians, our answer is firm and unwavering: God doesn’t create evil or suffering, but God does allow it so that a greater good may come forth. In the abstract that can be a perfectly satisfying answer, but when we stand in the midst of real life pain, the world is a much darker place and it’s very difficult indeed to see God’s great plan working. “What possible good can come from this?” we cry in anguish. We cannot see. All we can do is trust and hope for what we cannot see, which means waiting with patient endurance.

Cast your eyes upon the cross, whisper his name, “Jesus,” and let him walk with you and share your hours one by one. You’ll never be alone. And even though you cannot see it or name it, you’ll always know that you have a future.