Not every why question can be answered. Our perspective is simply too limited, our minds too finite, our reason too tainted. We cast our cares upon the One who cares for us. We trust, even in the most trying of times, knowing that God is worthy of it. He alone knows and loves us perfectly.
Below is a quote from Fred Epstein that I found very thought-provoking.
'The question, “Why do children suffer?” has no answer, unless it’s simply, “To break our hearts.” Once our hearts get broken, they never fully heal. They always ache. But perhaps a broken heart is a more loving instrument. Perhaps only after our hearts have cracked wide open, have finally and totally unclenched, can we truly know love without boundaries.'
"It is not right to try to remove all suffering, nor is it right to endure it stoically. Suffering can be used, turned to good account. What makes a life happy or unhappy is not outward circumstances, but our inner attitude to them." (Eberhard Arnold)
The quote above is from a book on forgiveness I've been reading, called "Why Forgive?" by Johann Christoph Arnold. Many intriguing stories of reconciliation and transformation that demonstrate the healing, freeing power of forgiveness. It is the Good News of Kingdom realities at work. The Enemy has no weapon against it.
One of the Christian's most powerful weapons in life is the act of forgiveness. As human beings we are conditioned to seek justice or fairness, but so often in situations of loss, where we have been hurt or wronged by another, such fairness is elusive. Besides, our quest for retribution or even revenge becomes a cancer in our own souls. Nelson Mandela once said, Bitterness is the poison we drink hoping our enemy will die."
Jesus taught us to forgive, knowing very well its cost. He did so because he knew that it has tremendous healing power to arrest the cancer of anger and bitterness. He knew it was the way to defeat the enemy of our souls. He lived and died what he taught. He lives on to show how the Story ends. Forgiveness opens your heart to a new horizon. Like anything, we choose to live it by faith.
The following is from the pen of Johann Christoph Arnold:
"Indeed, far from leaving us weak and vulnerable, forgiveness
is empowering, both to the person who grants it and
the one who receives it. In bringing relief to the most difficult
situations, it allows us to lay aside the riddles of
retribution and human fairness, and to experience peace of
heart. Finally, it sets into motion a positive chain reaction
that passes on the fruits of our forgiveness to others."
Today's Lenten thoughts come from Dietrich Bonhoeffer in his book "The Cost of Discipleship," talking about Jesus' call to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Him:
"It is laid upon every Christian. The first suffering of Christ we must experience is the call sundering (splitting apart) our ties to this world. This is the death of the old human being in the encounter with Jesus Christ."
Pastor Ward Parkinson