to undergo or feel pain or distress: The patient is still suffering.
It’s Tuesday again, and you know what that means… today is Truth Be Told Tuesday. Thanks for checking in.
Many of you reading this might have seen the beautiful pictures from our vacation this past week. My wife and I went to Amelia Island to celebrate her birthday and stayed with some wonderful friends. We had the pleasure to walk the charming streets of Fernandina Beach one night, watch a minor league baseball game from the second row, play golf at the Country Club of Amelia Island, and stroll the beaches behind the Ritz Carlton.
We had Starbucks every morning- Green Zen tea is a must -, I ran the beach or swam laps in the pool every morning, and we enjoyed a wonderful dinner at David’s with Carol and Jeff, as they celebrated their 17 wedding anniversary and we celebrated Ronnie’s 40th birthday. As the commercial goes; two drinks at the Ritz Carlton, $33.30, dinner for two at David’s – $175, relaxing on the beach – priceless. It was wonderful. My wife shared with me that it was her best birthday and vacation ever.
But it was on my last morning while running the beach I realized how different my life is now compared to 8 years ago- for the better, and the fact that many people are suffering beyond belief around this world- and in the United States.
The thought of suffering wouldn’t leave me alone: my past sufferings and the sufferings of others, Jersey Shore, Sandy Hook and Oklahoma. Syria, Iraq & Afghanistan and the Boston Marathon. I almost felt guilty that my life seems to be going so well while people in Moore, Oklahoma are trying to piece back together their lives as they deal with death and destruction.
The bible in the 3rd chapter of Genesis (Gen. 3:16-19) tells us that our lives will be filled with pain and suffering.
As a believer I understand that and I also find it understandable when I’m to blame for my misery and misfortune. Personally, I’ve attributed to roughly 90-95% of the pain and destruction in my life. There is no one to blame or point the finger at other than me. I can live with that. I’ve often thought, pleaded and prayed that God would deliver me from myself and at times my destructive behavior and patterns.
I decided years ago I didn’t want to be the problem anymore.
I would rather be diagnosed with cancer or have my life ended in a tragic accident than cause another person pain. I never want to hurt another person again.
So as I ran the beaches of Amelia Island I felt relieved that I was making good decisions and that my life was heading in the direction I’d always hoped it would.
I have enthusiasm for today, appreciation for yesterday, and hope for tomorrow.
But what about those that had nothing to do with the pain and misery they are currently enduring? What about the thousands of suffering souls in Boston, Sandy Hook, and Oklahoma? What about the family and loved ones of the 2783 that lost their lives on 9/11? What about the families of the 6200+ American soldiers that have given life in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past 10 years? I can’t even begin to understand their pain and the hurt their experiencing right now. But why did these awful things happen?
I can only say: “I don’t know.”
Lee Strobel, when sharing his 5 points of life concerning suffering, shares these words:
Point 1: God is not the creator of evil and suffering.
Point 2: Though suffering isn’t good, God can use it to accomplish good.
Point 3 : The day is coming when suffering will cease and God will judge evil.
Point 4: Our suffering will pale in comparison to what God has in store for his followers.
Point 5: We decide whether to turn bitter or turn to God for peace and courage.
“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”
-Romans 5: 3-5
As I reflect upon those thoughts and words of wisdom it gives me pause, peace and purpose when thinking about suffering. Some people will choose to believe those words and others will find them somewhat wishful thinking. I respect the opinion of both camps, but the one thing I know to be true is that we will all experience suffering, whether it is because of our own doing or by the doing of something or someone else. And when that suffering rears its ugly head whom do we go to for answers, direction and guidance?
Where do we go for peace?
I hope we all take a moment sometime today to reflect upon the suffering we’ve caused and have endured, and make peace with them both. I also hope that we all remain mindful of the many people hurting because of know fault of their own, mothers losing sons in war, fathers losing daughters to mindless violence, children losing parents due to Mother Nature’s destructive force. Lets quietly pray for their peace and humbly thank God for the many blessings that are too numerous to count that He has blessed us with.
Let’s remember what is truly important, and remember that God is present in “all” suffering. He never sleeps; He never forgets about us.
That is my “Truth Be Told” for May 28, 2013. (tbtt . #7)
sbb . 944
King of Pain . The Police