“Pain has a way of revealing who you really are and what you really believe. Pain doesn’t destroy your faith; it simply exposes it. . . . it’s life-saving to see suffering as a pathway to God. Instead of allowing suffering to deconstruct your faith, consider how God works to use your suffering to reignite your faith in Him.”- Lina AbuJamra
In Chapter 1 (“Where is God in My Pain?”) of Fractured Faith, Lina AbuJamra states that most of us possess enough compassion to admit our frustrations with human suffering in general. But personal pain births the biggest questions we ask about God.
Therefore, when we hurt, we need more than timetables and popular hashtags. When we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, we need to know that Jesus isn’t oblivious to our pain. Yet, the story of the Bible chronicles the goodness of God, who saves suffering humankind. Almost always despite them. He somehow shows us when we least expect Him to. And in ways we fail to anticipate.
“In other words, just when we take God out of the equation, He shows up with so much goodness it’s hard to ignore. The key is often in learning to know what to look for in our pain. The key is remembering who God really is, not who we’ve made Him to be.” (emphasis Lina’s)
Next, Lina talks about the story of Ruth and Naomi. When Naomi decided to leave Moab and return to her home in Israel, her daughter-in-law Orpah bailed. But Ruth stuck around. Above all, unbeknownst to Naomi, Ruth served as the tipping point in Naomi’s life. Like Naomi, when we learn to become aware of God’s presence in our pain, the scales dip toward freedom.
So, Lina exhorts, don’t view pain and suffering as the worst thing that could happen to you. Because “it’s life-saving to see suffering as a pathway to God.”
Today’s question: Do you believe it’s life-saving to view suffering as a pathway to God? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Increases awareness = pain’s gift”