Thursday, June 10, 2010

Where is God When It Hurts by Philip Yancey

So I recently just started reading this book again. I think I read it many years ago, but it seems more relevant lately, so thought I’d read it again. Really, the title of the book is not the question I want answered, but I couldn’t find a copy of “Why Would God Take My Niece?”, so decided to read this instead, to see if this would help with the building resentment of all the time I haven’t had with my niece over the last two years. I thought I’d share my thoughts with you, if you were interested in reading them, and perhaps as I continue reading, I’ll post more. But we’ll see.
So the book starts of examining the question of the necessity of pain, which is fine, I don’t have a problem with that, except that when you’re dealing with emotional hurt, the biological processes of pressure on the skin and the receptors that convey messages to the brain is as about as useful as offering a band-aid or sling for a broken heart. Not really going to do it. So at this stage I’m really not getting all that much out of it.
The next chapter, (Chapter 4, if you’re reading along at home) is titled Agony & Ecstasy. This chapter seems to be talking about (and I say seems, because I haven’t read it in over a week, and my memory is failing) how the pleasure of things is exponentially greater when it’s proceeded by suffering. Like how after a huge walk in the hot sun, the pleasure of drinking cool water is fantastic. Is there anything sweeter than water when you’re dehydrated? Maybe, but it’s pretty good still. And now I can’t remember if this was a point I got from his book, or a point I made up as I extrapolated to my own situation, but I was thinking once again how pointless this is, and not very helpful, but I began thinking something along these lines. So if I’m suffering now, does that mean my pleasure will be greater in some distant time? If I’m suffering now, how much greater will my pleasure and joy be as I live eternity with Zoë in heaven? But even as I was thinking “Is that what I’m meant to take from this, how is that helpful thing?”, the truth is, it has been a helpful thought. I think the idea of eternity is too big a concept for our brain to handle, and I’m not sure we really understand what heaven will be like, but even so, I have found comfort in the thought, and my resentment has ebbed away. So I don’t know if there’s anything in that for you, but I guess it’s helped me, so that’s something, at least.

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