Overheard at a Starbucks this morning.
If you have been diagnosed with Stage 4 Cancer, it’s not as shocking as it is for a non-believer.
Really? Really? It’s not as shocking? Why? Because you have hope in Christ who died for your sins? That makes a sudden in your face death warrant less shocking? Are we not human beings? “When you prick us, do we not bleed?” Does faith make us immune to our very nature? How can this type of news be less shocking?
I know I shouldn’t be so quick to judge. We all say things we don’t really mean. Lord knows I say and choose words that make no sense quite often and am probably doing so now. I could also be taking his statement completely out of context. He could have been disagreeing with this statement as I am now. I could have stayed for the rest of the conversation but how do you explain some random woman standing next to your table while the rest of the line moves around her? I’m not that good at pretending to blend in and I think the longer I stayed the more likely I would have been to interrupt. That’s just plain rude, right? Why not write a post about instead?
In all seriousness, I write now because it hit a nerve. I’ve heard this type of argument when dealing with pain too often. You hurt? Just trust in Jesus. Really? That’s it? If I have faith and trust in Christ then everything will be ok? But what if it’s not ok? What if I still hurt? What if my cancer doesn’t go away? What if my child is sick and I can’t do anything about it? What do you do with that? Why is it that somehow you should experience less pain or your pain will go away because you have faith? Why does faith preclude you from mourning deeply or from feeling pain? The news of a terminal illness may or may not come as a shock. Your pain may or may not go away. And if you do mourn deeply or you are completely shocked, then should it be interpreted that maybe your faith is not as strong or runs as deep because those who trust in Jesus are not shocked by the pain of life? We should have seen it coming? Of course not.
I’m not saying that faith in Christ does not carry you. It can and will. Do we need something or someone to hope in, to hang on to? Absolutely. I’m only saying it is ok to be completely and totally shocked by the pain in your life. Let us all stop pretending that life doesn’t bite, that we don’t hurt deeply or have major disappointments because we have a belief in someone bigger than ourselves. Our very creation is to feel. Did God not make us this way? Are the range of our emotions not a testament to His glory? Is it only the good emotions, the in control emotions that glorify Him? I don’t think so.
To have hope that if not today, but someday that all will be set right. YES! A million times yes. Someday everything will be ok, but in the meantime, let us not try bypass the hurt. Pretending the hurt is not there actually strips you from the ability to enjoy the life before you. If it was ok to bypass the hurt, then why would a death on a cross be necessary (scripture fulfillment aside)? Couldn’t it have been a lot less shocking or have hurt less?