On pain and lessons III.

To re-cap: it was said to me the other day that “God gives us pain to teach us things. He never gives us more than we can handle. Pain is the best teacher and God knows that”.

I’m still completely nonplussed by the comment. He never gives us more than we can handle? I struggle with that statement. How many people in this dark, damaged, beautiful world are broken, irrevocably, by the pain they must endure? How many souls have become twisted beyond recognition by the bitterness of their suffering? How many bodies shattered by the brutality of our own or others’ actions? How many minds simply implode under the strain? So I’m not sure that I can agree with the statement that God never gives us more pain than we can handle – even assuming that I could agree with the premise that God gives us pain in the first place.

I also noticed that the person who said this to me (and really, I must thank her – I’ve gotten three whole blog posts out of her comment!) also made sure to inform me of what God knows. It never ceases to amaze me how intimately and confidently frail, flawed human beings know the mind of God. We barely know our own minds at times, and yet so many of us can say with certainty what God thinks, or knows, or wants.

Sometimes I think it would be nice to have that level of confidence. I spend my days (among other things) searching for the Sacred. In people and creatures, in the beauty of the earth around me, in the trees and hills and coastline, in the food I eat and the air I breathe. Sometimes I am blessed enough to see just a glimpse of the Divine. Sometimes I feel the presence of the Creator just out of reach of my capacity to describe it. Sometimes I hear the music of the Maker of the Universe in the movement and the dance of the world around me. Sometimes I feel the love of the Source of Love in the interactions I have and the touch of souls around me.

Never, never, have I been able to say with any certainty what God thinks, or feels, or wants. I don’t have God in the contact list in my phone; we’re not Facebook friends. Sometimes I wish that wasn’t the case – it would be a damn sight easier – but on reflection, I’m pretty sure I prefer it this way.

Wonder what God thinks?

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One thought on “On pain and lessons III.

  1. Maybe if we are open to God we are given the strength/courage/wisdom (insert appropriate noun) to cope with the circumstances that life throws at us. Like you, I don’t think that God creates tests or trials for us, but if we are open to God, somehow we are helped and can (often only in hindsight) , learn from the experience.

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