Wednesday, May 02, 2018

How to suffer well

His father died in an airplane crash when Groothuis was eleven.

The particular cruelty of this disease is that you slowly lose your mind–and you're aware of it slipping away [in reference to his wife].

We have hope, but it's deferred.

Sixty of the psalms are laments…I'm grateful for the lament we see in Scripture–it's God helping us learn how to suffer well.

Compare Jesus with Buddha. The first of the four noble truths of Buddhism is suffering. It's not that there is suffering in a good world, but life is suffering. The Buddha's answer is to escape the world and enter nirvana through a change of consciousness–to depersonalize yourself and sort of float out of the world. There's no resurrection, no redemption, no savior. 

There's a difference between meaningless suffering and inscrutable suffering.

There's a verse in Ecclesiastes that says there's a time to give up [Eccl 3:1,6]…The Swiss psychiatrist Paul Tournier said that wisdom is knowing when to resist and when to surrender. 

I know too much to turn back from being a Christian.

Time after time, when I begin to lose sight of that [hope], I go back to apologetics–to the clear and compelling reasons to be confident that God exists, that Jesus is his unique Son, that the resurrection actually occurred, and therefore his promises to us–promises of hope and eventual healing–are true.

God has allowed me to see the world through tears, which is maybe the most authentic way to experience it.

I'm hanging by a thread, but, fortunately, the thread is knit by God. 

Doug Groothuis, "When Miracles Don't Happen," L. Strobel, The Case for Miracles (Zondervan 2018), chap. 13.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Steve. Very helpful quotations from Groothuis to say the very least.