Sunday, August 31, 2008

Plans and Suffering

God has a plan. Sometimes, His plan is to let us fail. It accounts for those who choose spiritual wilderness and even damnation, though such is not His desire. He just loves us too much to impose His will upon us without our consent.

It was a Protestant preacher I first heard this from (I paraphrase): "The tool with which God shapes us into what He wants us to be is suffering." Look at those who are most thoroughly aware of God's blessings. They have gained that awareness through suffering. I certainly wouldn't be thankful for all the wonderful things in my life if my dad hadn't thrown me out of his house.

Lois McMaster Bujold is one of my favorite writers. This wisdom she put in the mouth of one of her characters (again, I have to paraphrase): "A test is a gift. It isn't so important whether you pass or fail. But if you refuse the test, you refuse the gift."

We don't know everything. We don't know why we suffer. But we ought to know our suffering has a purpose and that God's grace, goodness, and mercy are infinite. Remember who the fools and villains are in the book of Job -- the ones who told him things like "You have brought this on yourself" and "Curse God and die."

God knows what we need for our salvation. One of the challenges of a Christian life is to trust Him when it seems so far removed from our own desires.

2 comments:

Theophilus said...

Arkanabar,
Congratulations on your blog.
As for the post, I always wonder what will be the eternal destiny of those who dont seem to have got tragedies in their lives. Their path is always smooth and tranquil. Are they damned? St. Therese of Avila said that God punishes those He loves. So He does not punish those He loves less? I'd like to know your opinion.

Arkanabar T'verrick Ilarsadin said...

God loves us all, without limit or exception.

Just because another's suffering is not apparent to you or me doesn't mean there isn't any. We are all different, and what may cause one to suffer would cause another no distress at all.

Each of us chooses our eternal destiny -- at some point, one will choose either to seek and follow God with all one's heart, soul, mind, and might, or else decide that something else is more important.