“Let your hand rest on the man at your right hand, the son of man you have raised up for yourself. Then we will not turn away from you; revive us, and we will call on your name. Restore us, O LORD God Almighty; make your face shine upon us, that we may be saved (Psalm 80:17-19).”
Some things never seem to change:
1) The New York Yankees baseball club contending for a world championship;
2) Traffic jams in big cities at rush hour;
3) War in some part of the world;
4) Politicians bickering about an issue;
5) Death and taxes.
Change is the spice of life. The “same ole, same ole” is boring and frustrating. It is especially so when tough times never seem to end.
Those of us who call ourselves Christians hope that God would occasionally give us some relief from difficult days. Some of us get that relief, and others don’t. I’m not even sure that the lighter or heavier load we experience in life comes from God. It seems that whatever circumstances we are in are many times the result of a fallen world, our own smart moves or mistakes, or being on the receiving end of some good or bad fortune from someone else.
I don’t subscribe to the notion of luck or fate, or a hands-off God. It’s just that to me, it is mysterious why some people are on a gravy train in life and others are in the junkyard.
King Solomon observed that, to him, life was meaningless. He felt that we humans were no better off than the animals. In his view, Solomon believed that men and animals all breathed the same air, lived a while, and then died. There was no difference between humans and the other created beings (Ecclesiastes 3:19-21).
We do share some of the same consequences as the animals. All of mankind died along with other living things in the Flood, except for Noah, his kin and the species he had gathered on t he ark (Genesis 7:21).
However, men are much more unique than animals. One church website in Connecticut points out some of the differences. For instance, we are self aware. Also, we have the ability to weep and laugh, and experience joy or grief.
It is the emotional aspect of being human that makes suffering so hard. Animals don’t care if their lives are meaningless. They are just looking to survive.
Solomon said there is a time and a place for everything, including a time to cry and a time to laugh (Ecclesiastes 3:1,4). On a personal level, I could sure use a few “yuks”.
Our family has been asking God to restore the years we have lost to hard times (Joel 2:25). We’ve been praying for Him to remove the things that have caused us distress for a such a long period of time and give us some gladness (Psalm 90:15).
All we’re looking for is a little balance in life. So are many others. Persistent suffering makes life pretty much unbearable.
That’s why Jesus came, isn’t it? He gave His life to ameliorate the evil in this world.
I realize there are sound theological reasons for suffering, but on an emotional level, it sure would be nice for God to touch Jesus on the shoulder and say, “See those folks over there. Go give them some relief and refreshment.”
That’s some change I could live with.