The Heaviness of Life

“During World War II, following word that an only son had been killed in action, a priest was called to the home of grief-stricken parents. The father, pacing the floor, weeping, in anger demanded, “Where was God when my son was being killed?” Silence prevailed. Then the ministering priest replied, “I guess where He was when His Son was being killed.” The calm, profound answer impacted the father, for it brought God out of remoteness into the circle of real life.

        Author Unknown

 It’s easy to blame God when trouble befalls us or when a horrific act occurs across somewhere in the world. It’s our nature to affix blame as if it is a requirement for the healing to commence. But nothing in God’s character permits Him to be an author of evil. Does He allow evil? Yes. But He is not the reason for evil to exist.

Without evil, there could be no love. Our omnipotent God could certainly eliminate our capacity to do evil, but in doing so would have to remove our freedom of choice. Thus, all that would be left would be a robotic allegiance to God that is not born out of love. This same free will that affords us to choose Him or deny Him, also grants us the ability to do good or do evil.

For what ends, then, does God permit heaviness to befall so many of his children? The Apostle Peter gives us a plain and direct answer to this important question:

“In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 1:6-7)

When our faith is tested, we can choose two paths: (1) we can see this test as a path to strengthening our faith, or (2) blame God and move away from Him for allowing such a tragedy to occur.

Should we choose the latter, we are playing right in to the hands of the Deceiver. Satan will labor to inject unbelieving, or blasphemous thoughts. He will suggest that God does not regard, does not govern, the earth; or, at least, that He does not govern it correctly, not by the rules of justice and mercy. He will endeavor to stir up the heart against God, to renew our natural enmity against Him. And if we attempt to fight him with his own weapons, if we begin to reason with him, more and more heaviness will undoubtedly ensue, if not utter darkness. It then becomes a slippery slope from doubt, to anger, to utter abandonment of God.

When we choose to allow God to use this time of pain to strengthen us and draw us closer to Him, we are acting in obedience to His will. Besides that, sanctified afflictions have, through the grace of God, an immediate and direct tendency to holiness. Through the operation of His Spirit, they humble, more and more, and abase the soul before God. They calm and meeken our turbulent spirit, tame the fierceness of our nature, soften our obstinacy and self-will, crucify us to the world, and bring us to expect all our strength from, and to seek all our happiness in, God.
In doing so, we can become a vessel to draw others closer to God. Amid all of the turbulence of pain and suffering, our outward projection of the serenity of Christ can have a profound impression on others who cross our paths. We can rejoice by inwardly saying, “The cup which my Father has given me, shall I not drink it?”

As believers in Christ, we should not fear death nor forever hang on to sorrow for any of God’s children who have joined Him before us. Yes, it is good to grieve, but let us remember that the pain of this world is but a blink of an eye compared to the eternity to come. Soon it will all pass away and there will be no more tears. Ever.


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