In 2015 I have shared numerous excerpts from the Language of Suffering, which is my meditation on the purposes and meaning of suffering from a Christian perspective. Although there are numerous topics which have not been published here, sufficient topics have to enable concluding thoughts in this and the following post.
I do this in order to complete this important thread of contemplation in preparation for the new issues and challenges that 2016 will bring.
We have traced suffering’s path through the Biblical record. In the Old Testament we found mountain peaks from which God’s plan for redemption could be seen. In the New Testament we saw this plan brought into our very world, to walk among us.
We have seen that it is through the experience of suffering that God chose to make right again the broken relationship between Himself and humanity. The particular form that He chose was to incarnate His own Son in human flesh and to suffer in body as well as in spirit. This choice forces us to consider suffering as both the great mystery of salvation and the great pattern by which to gain access to deeper fellowship with Christ. We would rather have had almost anything substituted for this pattern. But God in His infinite wisdom has chosen suffering. Who are we to second-guess the LORD God?
How, though, can we apply what we have learned to actual suffering? What does this “language” that has been referred to actually consist of? These questions must be addressed for our journey to end at its final destination, the oasis where we can satisfy the thirst that we feel here and now.