Life sucks. In fact, I’m pretty much convinced that existing is only a centimeter’s step up from hell. Life is full of useless stupidity, terrible evil, and mundane nonsense.
We wake up in the morning, consume some form of nutrients (if we even have access to such things), go out (if we are able) into a world that generally doesn’t give one spit about us, just to earn resources (if we are even able or have a place we can do that) so we can do it again… and spattered throughout that might be a few meaningless laughs and other such “nice” feelings – but more often life is filled with pain, betrayal, disrespect, hatred, neglect, arrogance, loneliness and/or a general, overall emptiness…
All because we are creatures so twisted and selfish that we are no longer (if we ever were) worth the dirt it took to make us.
If you are a disciple of Jesus and you are reading this, your hackles have probably been raised in indignation (especially if you’re American), or you are just a little confused and suspect I’m not thinking Biblically… and you (the one who’s just a little confused) might have grounds for being so.
But think about it, what in life have you ever done, seen, or heard that – when you really thought about it and looked at everything wrong with the universe – actually had any lasting, meaningful Good to it?
If you’re a disciple of Christ your response should have been “anything that Glorified God” … and if you are a real Christian (and not just faking it) you might have thought to add that, in the end, even much of the stupid meaninglessness of human existence will be redeemed by the Redeemer.
But notice, I’m assuming that if you are a true Christian you agree with me on the base level that life really is just horrible on the human level.
Sin has turned humanity into an insignificant lunatic running around like a mad little beast eating when it wants/needs and throwing buckets of sand onto a mound that it fancies a castle worth preserving – that is in fact nothing more than a toilet used by itself before it runs to get more sand.
Frankly, the only difference with the redeemed creature, in the midst of all the other lunatics is that the redeemed is now somewhat sane and is actually doing its best to find good solid materials to build a real structure on the Rock that has been placed beneath it — oh, and it’s been given an outhouse.
Other than those things, it’s still surrounded by lunatics that spit and throw refuse everywhere; it’s still in a desert on the edge of an encroaching ocean of judgement; and – to belabor the point – it still suffers from all of the difficulties of being in the same wretched environment.
Yes, God has, is, and ultimately will (perfectly/completely) redeem His elect. But why on earth do any of us try to pretend that makes this desolate, vomit-inducing existence in the midst of sin any less a place of fairly consistent suffering?
I’m not perfect, or even sanctified “enough” yet, and some of my depictions on the Christian side might – on a microscopic level – be a little unbalanced, but I know I was not raised with (and have rarely encountered, let alone interacted with someone who held) a real, robustly Biblical doctrine of suffering.
So here I offer this rant for the reader to ponder (or be offended by), a list of assumptions from the Bible that underly that rant, and a link to a podcast discussing something pertinent to the topic – and that I should probably listen to again in hope of getting a little bit of a “lighter” attitude out of it… since everyone seems to think me and my “attitude” are the problem (or Satan is forcing that attitude into me – and THAT’S the problem)…
1: Sin has consequences for EVERYONE.
2: The only difference between the disciple of Christ and the unbeliever is that the Christian is being sanctified and when they die (or the Lord returns) they will be glorified.
P.S. Though it is not quite a perfect parallel. . . My wife had me read “Grieving: Your Path Back to Peace” by James R. White today… and much of the Biblical exhortation and hope that he supplies in that book are pertinent…
1 Thessalonians 4:13-14, 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, Colossians 3:1-4, Micah 7:7, etc.