Confronted with Suffering? Driving you to God or away from God?

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Two people, from privileged backgrounds, went to Africa: one to Uganda, and one to The Gambia. Both were confronted with desperate situations of human poverty and human suffering.

One could not reconcile such suffering with a loving God who would allow it, who would not do something about it (is He not omnipotent?) and lost his faith – a well-known worship leader.* He left the church in search of answers.

The other** was intensely touched by the suffering he saw ‘Looking into their eyes, realizing they are the same as I am, created in the image of God, with the same needs and aspirations. The only difference is the place and circumstances we were born and neither of us had any say in that. Overwhelmed by knowing how blessed I am, I knew nothing in my life would be the same. Often crying in the plane on my way home. I need to share my blessings, I can not keep[ it to myself. I realized God was also blessing us to test our hearts – what are you doing with your blessings? I went home, gave it all up, all that I had, to serve God by serving the poor from this time onward.’

“I tell you the truth, whatever you did for the least of these, you did for Me” Matthew 25:40. Christ identifying with the suffering of this world, relieving His pain as we relieve their pain. One at a time. ‘It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness’


The words of Teresa of Avila, almost half a millennium ago:

‘Christ has no body now on earth but yours; no hands but yours; no feet but yours.

Yours are the eyes through which the compassion of Christ must look out on the world.’

From generation to generation He has heard their cries, shared their tears and asked His people again and again, ‘Who will go?’***

It’s not God who ignores the heart-cries of the poor, it’s us: you and me, His people around the world.

The simple key to fighting injustice and unlocking your highest destiny is the word ‘yes’ addressed to God. Perhaps He is waiting for you in a prayer room somewhere even now, inviting you to seek His Face to allow your heart to be broken with His deep concerns. Perhaps He is waiting to wreck your life for good; longing to give you the commission for which you were born. There is only one way to find out; See His face with a sincere heart.  – From ‘Dirty Glory – Go where your prayers take you’ Pete Greig p 147 – 8

*  1. Jon Steingard. ‘Hawk Nelson’

   2. Where is God in Suffering? Jon Steingard & Amy Orr-Ewing

** 1. Tertius Venter

    2. God and Suffering:   

*** ‘Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” and I said, “Here am I. send me!”Isaiah 6:8

GRACE – sometimes I think I understand more about suffering than grace.

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