If we were having coffee…
We would talk about suffering. I listened to a sermon a few weeks ago that has been on my mind. It was over the idea of suffering. Suffering is an intense word, but there are different types of suffering. Maybe it’s a cold, a broken bone, or a large bill to pay. Maybe it’s divorce, job loss, or a house fire. Maybe it’s murder, rape, or losing a loved one. We suffer all the time. It’s just a part of life. That list goes on and on and ON.
But something that’s interesting is that God’s intention wasn’t for us to suffer. Suffering was not God’s idea; He didn’t design suffering into creation. In fact, when God made something new (land, sea, light, darkness, etc.), He said that it was good. Good. That’s not a word I would use to describe suffering, would you?
Genesis 3 is when we first see sin and suffering. God tells Adam and Eve not to eat the fruit from one tree. Don’t eat it. That’s it. It’s like one of those you had one job memes. But the serpent (aka – Satan) persuaded the woman to eat the fruit and then the man ate some also. They chose to disobey God and sin. Because they chose to do this, suffering came about. The serpent must crawl on its belly and eat dust all the days of its life. Women will have terrible labor pains when bearing children and husbands will rule over them. Men will have to work for food, growing it themselves by sweat until death.
Sin is not from God, but from Satan. And suffering is a direct consequence of sin. When children do something at home they’re not supposed to do, they hide. They know some sort of suffering is coming. Their parents might be angry, they might get toys taken away, they might get spankings. They know some sort of consequence is coming.
Adam and Eve’s sin separated them from God. He didn’t want Adam and Eve to sin, He didn’t want them to fall, He didn’t want to ban them from the Garden. What He did want? A perfect relationship with them – filled with love, trust, respect, goodness, kindness, gentleness. He wanted that, which I think is pretty amazing.
And as far as the suffering we go through, I think we can take comfort in the fact that it’s not a part of God’s plan. It’s good to know that God doesn’t want us to go through pain, but rather that it is simply a consequence of our sin. And if we turn to him, we can find peace. We can find healing. We can know love.