Building a Foundation for Suffering

Had a heartbreaking conversation yesterday with the wife of one of my best friends from college. From the sounds of things my friend is going through some very deep hurt as a result of something that happened year ago. And sadly he is running from everyone who is trying to help him instead of turning back into his pain and allowing God to bring healing.

Stephanie and I were talking about it last night and I started evaluating our life and the lives of our friends since graduation in 2002. From the looks of things our pretty little Christian lives have been laced with sin and consequences and pain. Among untold trials there have been instances of adultery (both physical and emotional), miscarriages, financial difficulties, job transitions, and struggles with alcoholism.

Our faith in Christ has definitely not left us exempt from suffering and it makes me wonder how well our churches and pastors and faith-based educators prepared us for such instances of suffering.

When was the last time you saw a sermon series branded "Having a BAD DAY and Moving Past It" (copyright BTB, 2007)? Those aren't the kind of messages I heard growing up. It makes me reconsider the importance of building a foundation for suffering into the lives of the people in our churches. Because at some point, we are all going to go through some crap, and then we'll be left to deal with it. The question will then be - how? On our own, or with our God?