Does God send pain and disease to get his jollies?

Face it. Some days kinda suck. It’s the reality of life. I think without some sucky days that we would not appreciate the good days as much. I think I’m really going to appreciate tomorrow because today? Not so much.

I’m not sure how to handle sucky, nausea days like today when healing pains have me wincing. The ancient book I read, the ones the Jews built their society on and the disciples had 90% intact by the close of Paul’s ministry tells me to be thankful, rejoice and even be positive in days like this. I do my best but, um, really. I just can’t run around pasting a smile and saying, “Yahoo! I wish I could puke and feel better!.” Or, when my abdominal muscles cramp up, which docs told me would happen during the healing process after transplant, “Oh baby! That’s a good one! I hope I have a few more of these coming!”

Common sense tells me that would be stupid. We’d call it denial. But we’ve all met people on both ends of the spectrum. There’s the loon who smiles and says, “Praise the Lord!” while a honey badger gnaws off their leg. And then there’s the moaner who literally always has a crisis and is quick to share their misery with you.

I think my bible is telling me more about the state of mind I can aim for. God’s in control, life is life, rain falls on both good and bad people and I can trust Him.

So here I am feeling like my insides want to be on the outside and I’m able to dig deep and be thankful, find joy and try to stay positive because I have a perspective that goes far beyond today. Yeah, today is tough. Or, right now is tough but tonight or tomorrow might be better. I can hang on for the better times. I will.

Some people get all philosophical as soon as they hit pain. They question God’s existence and doubt He is loving. “If God loved me, he wouldn’t let me be in pain like this.” Did God create pain?  What purpose does it serve?

If not for pain, I’d be one of the most stupid people on the planet. Pain often times tells me the boundary. It tells me when to rest, when to back away from the fire and limits. But the pain of liver disease, or cancer, or MS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease tell me nothing about boundaries. It’s pain that we can do nothing about. It’s that type of pain that can make me doubt God’s love. Other pain comes with an explanation – a fall, a sunburn, a crash but disease? It just hits regardless of position, money or stature. From Steve Jobs to little old me … disease works to end life.

So where is God? Why does disease hit you, a good, decent tax-paying person? Why doesn’t God just direct disease to evil dictators and murderers? Why does disease take the lives of babies and moms, dad’s and people who are “good?”

I believe God hates disease. I don’t believe he created disease to punish humans. The way I figure it, God set this system up to run. He put us into a perfect situation hanging with Him and we decided we wanted to go our own way so we ditched Him and he let us walk away. We walked from paradise to pain. When we said, “Um, God, we really don’t trust you so back off.”

I think God, though sad about it, gave us what we wanted and what He promised. He simply said “okay.” At that point, pain, disease and turmoil became a standard to all life. Every life has pain.

When I’m hitting pain and am tempted to blame God, I remember that humankind, according to my old book, chose this path by turning on God. And then I am amazed that even though we humans still don’t trust Him, he walks through pain with us. He doesn’t have to be there with us. He could easily say, “Hey, tough luck pal but this is what you wanted. Don’t whine to me about it.” But, He doesn’t. His Grace compels Him to hold me, love me and stay beside me no matter what. So, rather than get ticked at God about my disease or my pain, I am thankful He forgives me and comforts me and stays with me.

For me, today has really sucked. I have felt nauseous all day. Tomorrow might be better or, it might not be. But, I am totally confident that no matter what tomorrow brings, I’ll be able to rely on my Faith and my Jesus to face it.

How do you see pain and disease as it relates to God and faith?

1 Peter 1:5-8 God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you’ll have it all – life healed and whole. I know how great this makes you feel, even though you have to put up with every kind of aggravation in the meantime. 7 Pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine. When Jesus wraps this all up, it’s your faith, not your gold, that God will have on display as evidence of his victory. You never saw him, yet you love him. You still don’t see him, yet you trust him – with laughter and singing.

About Scott Linscott

Living life to the fullest, walking in the dust of my Rabbi, creating art through photography and written word, speaking words of hope and encouragement at conferences, workshops, church and civic gatherings.
This entry was posted in chronic illness, End Stage Liver Disease, facing death, Fatty liver, Fatty Liver Disease, Find God, Lahey Clinic, Liver disease and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Does God send pain and disease to get his jollies?

  1. normane3d says:

    Scott, Amen to what you are saying!! I wish you an easier, speedier recovery. I have no idea of the pain that you are going through, but I do know how hard life can be. A couple of years ago, I was leading a hedonistic, self centered life filled with with anger and disappointment with what I didn’t have, jealous of others, etc. In April 2010, I was on the verge of having my job eliminated, losing the house we had just bought, everything went south. I became very sick with a debilitating disease I never thought I would be well again — it was like I was in a living hell. Not a religious man, but with help of my family, my minister and medication, I began to get better. But the thing that helped me get better more than anything was Christ’s mercy. I would cry for hours for him to either take me or heal me, sometimes both. It was through Christ’s grace that I was saved and loved. I began reading the New Testament, especially the Gospel, and then most of old testament. It became clear to me that God was the center of my life. Since getting well I have lost my job, lost my ex-wife and other family members as well as other catastrophes but I no longer face them alone. I now look back and see my illness as a gift or blessing because it allowed me know and love Christ, and my faith just gets stronger and stronger. Although unemployed, I have and still do volunteer helping the poor in my community, worked at Habitats for Humanity, and become very involve with the church. I am actually seriously planning at 56 years old to go back to school to train to become a minister, as that I believe is my calling.
    I am so sorry for the pain and the illness you have experienced but I think you are getting the best possible help and love — that of Jesus Christ. I will keep you in my prayers, and get well soon.

  2. julie goodwin says:

    amen, amen, amen. i am reading this out of sequence, but i think there was a reason for this. thanks for being human and not a fake Christian who doesn’t let other people see how you handle the things in your life. it is SO freaking refreshing. i am so sorry that you have to go thru this pain for us to see this transparency. when we get to that other side, where there is no more pain, there will be some there that say “thank you for giving to the Lord; I am a life that was changed…” thank you for sharing out of your pain, and your hope. blessings to you and yours.

  3. Aunt Betty says:

    keep reading your bible, His word is the best, if one day seems to hard, do a hour at a time

  4. Anonymous says:

    Hey, Scott. Just wanted to let you know that you are still in our thoughts and prayers.
    Hang in there, God will see you through all this because he knows that you have been trusting in Him through all of this.
    Dave and I are looking forward to the Fundraiser that Christ Chapel is having for you on this Saturday.
    Keep the Blogs coming we are very interested in what’s happening.
    Love in Christ,
    Your Brother and Sister in Him,
    The Hawkins

  5. Anonymous says:

    I too believe pain and disease are part of the system man chose, life outside of Gods design. I struggle with how to balance whatsoever you ask believing… with accepting as God’s “no” as an answer.

  6. Yes Pain the “gift” no one wants ! Gift? Just as by one man sin came to all men(Adam) this one man Jesus was given power to give life and forgiveness to as many who will receive it. When it rains( especially for long bouts) it obscures our view of the sun(yet it is still there) and when it breaks through we seek it’s warmth and renewing comfort . I live in the hope of His promise that when He returns to gather His body(we are His body -He being the head and the first fruit of the harvest) restoration will be complete(the birthpangs )producing that perfection He has secured for us-no pain -no death or sorrow-no night -dwelling always in total Son-light. Still uncomfortable during the wait and doesn’t lessen pains intensity I guess that is the “clinging” part to His promises. How do those who have NO HOPE cling and for what end?

  7. FloridaVet says:

    Amen brother! Well put! So many people spend so much time trying to explain away God according to their beliefs and not by any effort to get to know Him through His Word. We choose our own path and as we get further away from God we put ourselves into painful situations. That could be physical or emotional pain that we reap from our choices. Sometimes there is no explanation for something that happened to us. We just need to go back and read the book of Job to be reminded that God is so far beyond our understanding we cannot ever know His mind. Yet I have found that the painful situations that I have been in caused positive changes in my behavior and outlook toward others and toward God. Pain is the human condition, God is the rescuer to all that come to Him.

    Hang in there Scott, you are doing great! Welcome to the liver transplant recipient club, we are happy to have you with us!

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