Sorry this one is so late today...!
There was once a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job. That man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil. Job 1:1 NRSV
So begins the book of Job (pronounced with a long "o"). It almost sounds like the beginning of a fairy tale, yet this book comes very close to real life. It is the one book which tries to explain suffering. I say tries because even the most brilliant of scholars are not able to fully understand and explain suffering through these scriptures.
The book of Job raises more questions than gives answers. Even if you are not reading through the Bible with us this year, I encourage you to read through Job. Two of the best points about Job is that 1) he complains to God without cursing or turning from God and 2) we get a better idea of how to be with our friends when they are suffering. And, certainly, all of us will face suffering during our lifetime, if we have not done so already.
The best place to begin, however, is to be blameless and upright, fearing God and turning away from evil. No matter what, we all can strive to begin there.
God, why is there so much suffering in the world? How can we respond to others and to our own suffering? Guide us, Lord, guide us. In Jesus' precious name we pray. Amen.
Copyright 2010 Amelia G. Sims