A few weeks ago, my barber and I had a meaningful question on the question of “where God is when it hurts”. Since he’s too skillful, we did not have enough time for a deep discussion. Therefore, I recommended Philip Yancey’s book, “The Question That Neven Goes Away”, for him to read.
What I have learned the most from this book is Yancey’s reminder about the way God’s presence and redemption in the midst of our suffering:
“From Jesus I learn that God is on the side of the sufferer. God entered the drama of human history as one of its characters, not with a display of omnipotence but in a most intimate and vulnerable way. On a small scale, person-to-person, Jesus encountered the kinds of suffering common to all of us…We go through suffering not alone, but with God at our side…Jesus did not eliminate evil; he revealed a God willing, at immense cost, to forgive it and to heal its damage.”
In addition, Yancey reminded and challenged Christian that:
“…And because God shared our suffering in the person of Jesus, we his followers have a model for redeeming it, a way to wrest Good out of what at first seems irredeemably bad…Where is God when it hurts? God is now in the church, God’s delegated presence on earth. The question might even be rephrased, ‘Where is the church when it hurts?’…Christianity doesn’t in any way lessen suffering. What it does is enable you to take it, to face it, to work through it, and eventually to convert it.”
Yancey’s reminders have led me to reflect on what I have been being/doing in the midst of suffering, mine and my neighbor’s.