Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Silence, Part 3: Suffering with us in Silence

The book ends with a great exchange between a priest who apostasized and Christ as the priest prays in his heart and mind.

Priest: “Lord, I resented your silence.”
Lord: “I was not silent. I suffered beside you.”

That’s powerful. When we feel like God has abandoned us, He is there suffering with us, walking through our pain with us.

In the book it goes on, as I read it, to excuse the apostasy from Jesus’ perspective, as if he would encourage it to relieve our anguish. While the author may be expressing Jesus’ abundant grace, it sits uncomfortably with me. He’s with us, but He wants us to honor Him. I realize this is coming from a guy sitting comfortably in a coffee shop, much like the priests in Portugal couldn’t imagine their fellow priest forsaking the faith.

I haven’t faced much suffering so my critique may ring hollow. Even so, I hope I follow in the footsteps of Paul who praises God amid his suffering in books like Philippians. I'm sure that's easier said than done.

Remember. He’s with you. He’s suffering beside you.

1 comment:

Wacky Weavers said...

I just finished reading through Genesis and have now hit Exodus. One (out of many) thoughts I had is God's providence. Life is not easy. Life is a struggle. A struggle to get back to the original design that man was created. And as history tells, along with our own personal life, there is nothing that we can do on our own accord. Christ body struggled to set us free. Our life will struggle. But at least in Christ we then struggle with purpose. Joseph, in Genesis, did not know for sure that he would one day rule in Egypt when he was sitting in the ditch. He did not know the impact that God was going to allow him to have on the entire country, in order to organize food for the famine years. Joseph experienced much. God isn't just with us, He goes before us. And He does this for His people. He has a big plan, He just chooses to use us little people to do it.