Do You?

Have you ever lain awake at night listening to your little brother cough and heave and cry in pain? He can’t keep anything down, and you don’t know why. And worse yet, there’s nothing you can do to help him.

Do you know what that’s like, God? To be completely helpless?

What else can I do but cry out to You . . . beg You to take his pain, give him peace, restore his health?

And then, the painful heaving stills . . . the crying subsides . . . the house goes quiet. . . .

And then, another painful, guttural cry tears up the almost-tranquility. Another choke, another heave, another bout of vomiting. And the sound is enough to rip your heart from your chest. And after countless rounds and eternal hours, the only words left to cry are, “God, why won’t you heal him?”

Do you know what that’s like, God? To feel the pain of the innocent?

Do you know what it is to doubt, to question, to lose faith? To feel betrayed by the only one who can help?

Do You?

I hope You’ve felt anger, pain, betrayal . . . because without these, love, joy and trust mean nothing.

I tell myself You doubted in the days of Noah, when You wept over humanity and asked yourself why You ever created these miserable creatures.

I wonder if You feel helpless every time someone uses Your gift of free will against You.

I’d like to think You know suffering because You created it.

But when the daylight comes, the sickness flees, and I see my brother smiling again, I can’t defend You. I still wonder why. Why didn’t you heal him sooner? Why would You allow such suffering at all?

I can’t defend You, but You hardly need my defense. You are God. That won’t stop me from asking why, from growing angry at Your silence. But You are God, and ultimately, I guess, that is the reason why.

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3 thoughts on “Do You?

  1. Deana Griffin

    I think we have all asked God “why?” more than once. I came to the conclusion long ago that even though we may not think He cares or is there He Is. I know that as a mother I cried to Him many times (and still do) on behalf of my children. I cried buckets of tears and one day it dawned on me that if I was hurting that much for them how much more God was hurting because He is their Father.
    God doesn’t always take a way the pain, sorrow, or illness that we would like to see gone, as I believe He has a purpose for all things.
    Maybe in this case it is for your own growth in Jesus Christ that your brother suffers. He woke up smiling and happy. (God may have been comforting him even as he went through the illness) So don’t completely give up on God. Ask Him what lesson He wants you to learn from all the sorrow and pain you have seen and will continue to see.


  2. snarksmith

    …Or when you hear your wife struggling to breathe, and you realize there is nothing you can do so you leave her in God’s hands, because He has pulled her through before…and He does so once again…yet in the end He takes her. I have experienced joy beyond belief. I have lived through devastating sorrow. Yet it is as you say, “That won’t stop me from asking why….”


  3. Dan Hood

    I, of course, lived through that same night in hell, and I cried out as you did, and would have taken his pain on myself if I could. I say that courageously, but when it is me going through it, I am likewise crying out for him to “take it from me”. . .which of course He has already done in the ultimate sense.

    But if you take that same idea and apply it to Jesus Christ–God in Flesh–and think of that one person taking all that sickness and suffering, every gut-wrenching retch and torturous hack, every cold and every cancer and every headache, all the bleeding and cramping and anguished cries, and on and on and on–maybe then we might get a glimpse of what he actually did suffer. “For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer, if they would repent. . .which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed from every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink; nevertheless, glory be to the Father, and I partook nd finished my preparations unto the children of men; . . .”

    To doubt, to question, to lose faith, to feel betrayed, misunderstood, abandoned–he had to suffer with us so he could know how to suffer for us. So if there is any consolation in knowing He knows. . .His word and His very nature testify–He knows!


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