I just watched this movie entitled Joyful Noise. The movie is “Glee-ish” except that their soundtracks are Christian contemporary songs instead of worldly songs. There is one scene in the movie where a special kid, in the character of Walter, is in emotional state. Then his mother (played by Queen Latifah), knowing that his son is mentally challenged, asked what’s bothering him. Then Walter answered in what could be unexpected to come out from the mouth of a special child. He cursed God for his condition. He said that he is already tired of people mocking him, teasing him, laughing at him and even ignoring his opinion because of his condition. He blamed God for his sufferings and he even questioned his mother why she still serve God by leading the church choir where in fact she should defy Him for giving her a son with mental problem.
I think Walter represents the general humanity. We are all prone to burden; it could be social, physical, emotional or financial. Regardless of your status, religion or race, we have all issues. And if burdens become unbearable, we suffer. Nobody is exempted to suffer, even the Christians. Just because you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal saviour doesn’t mean you are free from the bondage of suffering.
When C.S. Lewiss, the author of Chronicles of Narnia, was asked why Christians suffer, she answered “Why Not? They are the only one who can bear it anyway”. I chuckled and at the same time agreed because it’s true. Christians believe that there is an entity up there that they can trust with their sufferings, so instead of summoning to liquor, drugs or even death, they pray on bended knees for the strength to carry the burden. Sufferings are designed by God so He can draw our attentions toward Him. Remember what Jesus said to his disciples, “Carry your own cross and follow me”. Each of us has our own story of suffering. And sometimes, believers of God carry heavier cross than non-believers. It’s not easy to be rejected by the Community because of your beliefs, or because you are different, or because you have misunderstood personality. Sometimes, you will feel that the world is casting down stones on you for various reasons.
In church, we taught to intentionally accept the fact that suffering is a part of Christian life. This is where the big WHY resonates. If I am a son of God, why do I need to suffer? Why do I need to experience what non-believers are experiencing? Why I still thrive in a world where sinners live? Even Jesus Christ asked “why” when he suffered in the cross. Nobody can answer that because God is working beyond our comprehension. But we all know that everything happens for a reason and that includes suffering. If you happen to be in the darkest moment of your life, like you experience health problems or losing a love one or being rejected, don’t ask why, instead ask what. Ask God what lesson or message would He like you to know for this particular suffering. In due time, you will know why terrible things happen in your life. Just hold on to your faith and know that every Christian is not exempted for sufferings.
It is also important to understand that suffering is a language that God can understand. He knows how it feels to suffer. Sometimes, we are too comfortable in life that we forget to pray and thank God. When we suffer, we pray the most sincere prayer of all. It is when we are in desperate need to resolve the problem that we pray on bended knees. But oftentimes, instead of getting closer to God, we blame Him and stay away from Him which is not a wise decision. Suffering could be a reminder that we are under the Grace of God. That he can take everything, including our life, at an instant. So when worse comes to worst, the only option we have is to draw closer to God and entrust everything to Him.
Embrace suffering and faithfully follow Jesus Christ. God will reveal his purpose in your life soon.