The human spirit will not even begin to try to surrender self-will as long as all seems well with it. Now error and sin both have this property, that the deeper they are the less their victim suspects their existence; they are masked evil.
Pain is unmasked, unmistakable evil; every man knows something is wrong when he is being hurt… And pain is not only immediately recognizable evil, but evil impossible to ignore. We can rest contentedly in our sins and in our stupidities; and anyone who has watched gluttons shoveling down the most exquisite foods as if they did not know what they were eating, will admit that we can ignore even pleasure. But pain insists on being attended to.
God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world. (CS Lewis)
I think our reaction to pain is key here. We can see pain as a trial through which we must come and hopefully find God in the midst of the trial, experiencing his comfort and presence.
But we could also see pain as evidence of an uncaring God, or an impotent God, who could heal us and the world, but refuses to do so. It’s a matter of perspective. But pain does not in itself create one of these two responses. It reveals our underlying worldview that was present before the pain started.
Either I believe there is a good God, who for a purpose I cannot fathom, allows this pain, or I do not believe.
As I listened to the news this morning, I heard about the terrorist group ISIS in Syria and Iraq, and a massive coordinated police action in Europe that resulted in over 1000 people being arrested for mainly drugs, and people trafficking. Over 30 Romanian children were rescued in these raids.
On the one hand, it’s hard to see such evil, particularly human trafficking, go on with only small victories against it. On the other hand, if ever I wanted evidence of the depravity of humankind when they exist out of relationship with God, there is plenty of it.
Like the prophets of old, I am tempted to say, “How long, O Lord?” How long will you put up with evil on this sort of scale? But also I am glad He delays, as there are many I love who do not yet know Jesus. So I say, “Save them Lord” and only then, “Come soon Lord Jesus.”