"Wealth will increasingly be defined by our ability to go offline whenever we want." - Fernando Gros
0 items in your cart
$0
Blog // Thoughts
June 11, 2007

Faith And Life’s Difficulties

John Smulo has posted a question, of sorts, on his blog, Difficulties Pre-Jesus Stress, Pain, Challenges, Find out which friends stick with you, Loneliness, Grief, Personal growth or deflation, More questions than answers Difficulties After-Jesus Stress, Pain, Hope, Challenges, Find out which friends stick with you, Find out which Christians will stigmatize you, Find out […]

John Smulo has posted a question, of sorts, on his blog,

Difficulties Pre-Jesus
Stress, Pain, Challenges, Find out which friends stick with you, Loneliness, Grief, Personal growth or deflation, More questions than answers

Difficulties After-Jesus
Stress, Pain, Hope, Challenges, Find out which friends stick with you, Find out which Christians will stigmatize you, Find out which Christians will demonstrate the love, grace, and forgiveness they received from Christ, Loneliness, Faith, Knowledge that Jesus will never leave you or forsake you
Grief, Personal growth or deflation, More questions than answers

I can feel where John is coming from. Becoming a Christian does not “save” one from all the problems and ambiguites of life on earth and sometimes it adds a layer of complexity to it.

The point was driven home rather painfully for me in 1991. Every couple of years or so since, there has been some sort of significant reminder of that. I tend to see the awareness of this tension, that faith does not fix life, as the “start” of growing up and acquiring wisdom. In some ways it’s also why I tend to be a little skeptical of felt-needs and therapuetic approaches to church. It just seems selfish to always *want* faith to make the pain go away; selfish and inconsistent both with lived experience and biblical witness.

By contrast, there is a lot of freedom to be had by accepting the condition and asking “where is God in all this?” Through that sort of questioning God’s spirit allows us to see the world “as it is,” and that has tremendous clarifying power. The extra layer of “complexity” overlaps with an extra awareness of the way of the world and the human condition. That’s the witness of the great prophets like Jeremiah and Ezekiel, of the Psalms, of Ecclesiates, of Christ’s final days and of Paul’s letters. Facing this won’t make the pain go away and might not even dull it much, but it could well help us see our place in the world a lot better.

Which is, of course, a powerfully humbling experience.

Responses
Paul 15 years ago

It is a powerful point Fernando – especially when we contrast our life with Christ and the invitation to follow him to and through the cross. As much as I want to run from pain, medicate it, escape it, deny it, in Christ I see someone who embraced it and did not turn their face from it – and yet did not ignore it either, the power of the Gethseme experience seems to me one of honest questions, agony and facing the reality of what was about to happen in a very brutal honest way.

I am thinking about writing a post on the discipline/practice of submission – but i might want to practice it first 🙂

Leave a comment

Enter your and your to join the mailing list.