Tag Archives: adoption

Why Do We Suffer?

As [Jesus] passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” John 9:1-2

Suffering produces an insatiable desire to blame. Surely there must be some reason why this poor man must suffer all his life without sight. We hunger and thirst for some impetus for it all.

Why are we so bent on finding fault? Partly because we hope to prevent future suffering by finding the cause. Just like you may avoid spicy food if it once gave you heartburn. Partly because if the sufferer is to blame, we can accept the hardship as a legitimate recompense to sin: “She deserved that,” or “I had it coming.” If someone else is to blame, we at least have someone to take our anger out on.

So how does Jesus answer the disciples inquiry about the cause of the blind man’s life of suffering?

Jesus doesn’t tell us of a world of needless suffering. There is a reason, but it is one that we have had no category for at all: suffering for the sake of the glory of God.

Grieve to the Glory of God

Grief is the recognition that something has been lost forever. It forces us into an awareness that we have no control to change or fix the situation. What is gone is gone and can never be regained, at least not fully. Grief is an emotion we don’t gladle welcome. We keep it at arms length pretending it will go away if we wait long enough. And sometimes it does, but are we really better off for avoiding it?

How Caring for Children Changes the World

The beginning of the book of Exodus is hard not to enjoy. With the burning bush, the Nile turning to blood, the dramatic exit through the Red Sea, what’s not to love? With so many big events, it’s easy to miss the details. Details like the fact that most of the main characters in the first two chapters are women. Each one of them acts in the interest of children, even when their own safety is threatened. Without these five women, Israel’s story of redemption doesn’t happen. Without these five women, Moses doesn’t survive the infanticide occurring in Egypt, and there is no leader to be God’s instrument of deliverance.