When God Weeps
Why Our Sufferings Matter to the Almighty
By Joni Eareckson Tada and Steven Estes
If God is loving, why is there suffering? From our perspective, suffering doesn’t make sense, especially when we believe in a loving and just God. The authors reveal a God big enough to understand our suffering, wise enough to allow it-and powerful enough to use it for a greater good than we can ever imagine.
My thoughts: I really appreciated the honesty of the authors. Both have suffered loss and trials and have had to wrestle with these issues up close and personal. The authors give scriptural insights as to the why of suffering and who is behind it. A lot of questions get answered in this book.
Some of my Favorite Quotes:
"God must be at the center of things. He must be in the center of our suffering. What’s more, he must be Daddy. Personal and compassionate. This is our cry. God, like a father, doesn’t just give advice. He gives himself. He becomes the husband to the grieving widow (Is. 54:5) He becomes the father of the orphaned (Ps. 10:14) He becomes the bridegroom to the single person (Is. 62:5) He is the healer to the sick (Exod 15:26) He is the wonderful counselor to the confused and depressed (Is. 9:6) This is what you do when someone you love is in aguish; you respond to the plea of their heart by giving them your heart."
"Even Jesus was astounded that people could devote their entire lives to studying Scripture and yet fail to know the One to whom Scripture was pointing (Jn 5:39-40) Focusing on regiment and routines will do for business executives, army sergeants, and Pharisees, but not God. You might scratch the surface with him, but it’s more-much more- than “Do A, B, or C and you will know God better.” He is not a missing piece of our life which, once found, can be bolted into place so our spiritual lives run efficiently and smoothly. Personal relationships don’t work that way. Certainly not when it comes to God. If we want to grow closer to someone-God or anybody-it means pressing hearts together. Talking, discussing likes and dislikes, Finding joy in each other. Checking in with each other, as with your spouse. “Anything I can do for you? Do you need something?” Rolling up your sleeves and muscling a job-well-done together. A strong relationship is the weaving together of many shared experiences. Such things make for intimacy. Yet intimacy can’t be regimented. Disciplining myself to spend regular time with someone can be regulated but not the intimacy itself. Intimacy happens as two souls rub together. It’s what we long for more than anything else. To know and be known. Even in the best relationships, we are still left aching for someone to comprehend our world and enter our struggle-to embrace us with a passion that seizes and melts us into a union that will never be broken. God answers that ancient longing. A yearning that echoes with the message that we were made for him…One experience in particular does it. You wouldn’t choose it. It’s not tidy. You can’t deal with it methodically. It’s ugly messy, painful, and risky because it can draw you closer to God or drive you away. But once you muddle through, you wouldn’t trade the sweetness of your intimacy with God for anything. It knits your heart together with his like nothing else. This particular experience binds you to God like it binds you to people. Veterans from World War II know this. So do survivors of cancer, a plane crash, or the polio epidemic of the fifties. Roommates in a hospital ward feel it. It’s shared suffering. When you’re in the trenches, handling bullets to your buddy and fighting a common enemy, hearts can’t help but be pressed together. Your knowledge of each other is unique and intimate to you. To you both."
"When the Apostle Paul was on the road to Damascus, the risen Lord didn’t say, “Saul, why are you persecuting my people?” God said, “Why are you persecuting me?” (Acts 9:4) He considers our sufferings his sufferings. He feels the sting in his chest when you hurt. He takes it personally."