Monday, December 8, 2008

I am the Greatest!

I've been praying for a friend whose son is terribly ill, though recovering, and thinking about times when my children have suffered. While what my kids have endured has not approached his experience, and the emergencies were of shorter duration, the fact is that the suffering of a child is of a different quality than other human suffering.

God the Father is not immune to the suffering of a child, of course, and in the strangest solution to the suffering and sorrow in the world, sent His Son to be born as a baby who would, in due time, suffer death, even death on a cross (cf Philippians 2). So while Muhammad Ali was probably the greatest boxer, the image on Esquire magazine in the third photo shows him in weakness (in the pose of St. Sebastian, who died for his faith in Christ). Then he is more like the Greatest than he is picking the round he will knock out his opponent. But the greatest in the eyes of the Creator is the second photo, of a little child.

Matthew 18.1-6
At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven."

“Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea."

I am not going through what my friend is going through. I do trust that God is neither immune from the sorrow of this situation, nor absent from this family in this trial which He has brought to them. The purpose for that is as yet unknown.

Does suffering perplex you? It does me, and yet it doesn't, knowing God is in charge. Sometimes makes me angry, or confused, certainly. What about you?

On a much lighter note, click the title of this post to see a cartoon of Muhammad Ali as an astronaut cartoon hero.

1 comment:

Clifford Swartz said...

It might be that God was preparing my heart -- yesterday evening at the emergency room -- not a broken bone, just a bad sprain, for one of my daughters.