“Holding God responsible for our pain is as unproductive as it is unwise.”- June Hunt
June Hunt begins Chapter 11 (“Blindsided by a God-sized Boulder: ‘Oh God, How Could You Do This?’ “) of How to Forgive by noting that the vast majority of wounded people don’t allow their bitterness to consume them. However, many people are deeply embittered. They harbor sustained anger toward God. This anger is fed by the belief that God could have or should have shielded them from devastating adversity.
In subtle or overt ways, wounded people are holding God responsible. As Ms. Hunt notes, to view God as cruel and unjust “drains our lives of hope and leads to deep despair.” June adds that the main reason we think this way is rooted in misunderstanding the purpose of life.
Our contemporary culture is one of comfort and a sense of entitlement. We believe happy, healthy, prosperous, and cushy lives are our birthright. While it is not inherently wrong to live that way, the problem arises when comfort becomes the ultimate goal of our existence. C. S. Lewis wrote in Mere Christianity that comfort never was meant to be our purpose:
“Comfort is one thing you cannot get by looking for it. If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will get neither comfort or truth- only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin with and, in the end, despair.”
Although researchers have discovered that “pain is the gift no one wants, pain is a vial to recovering from our wounds as well as avoiding worse ones. If pain didn’t really hurt, we’d simply ignore its message and miss its refining effect. In other words, pain has a higher purpose.
Suffering never is in vain. It produces endurance, character, hope, and love (Romans 5:35). Even the smallest step away from resentment is a step toward God’s freedom.
Today’s question: Have you ever found yourself holding God responsible for your vocation loss? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “The faith factor”