How Time Helps Us Understand Pain and Suffering

How Time Helps Us Understand Pain and Suffering April 22, 2015

Our perspective on pain and suffering is too short. We think in terms of minutes, hours, and days. To God a thousand years is like a day. We’re the ones that get frustrated at the microwave because it takes 45 seconds to heat our food! God sees from the perspective of eternity.


I asked a question at our church last Wednesday night, “Have you ever experienced something that in the moment was painful or tragic but ended up being for your long-term good?” Everyone had examples to share. I shared that when I was in 10th grade I moved to a different part of the state and had to start life over. At the moment, I thought it was the worst thing that could have happened, but looking back, it was the best thing that could of happened because it strengthened my relationship with God and set me on a new path of life.

After college, I lived in Africa for two years as a missionary. Without getting into the whole story, I thought I had made a mistake once I got there because ministry was hard and no one was getting saved. I didn’t know why God would lead me to a place where nothing good happened. That’s what I thought at the time. Looking back, those two years were deepened my relationship with God in ways I never thought possible and through a missionary relationship I made while in Africa, I ended up in North Carolina in the summer of 2001 where I met my future wife.

In the moment, I couldn’t see how any good could come out of that pain and hardship. But after some time had passed, I had gained enough perspective to see God’s plan in it all. Once we have the perspective of eternity, we just might be able to see God’s reason behind all of it. But right now, our perspective is too short.

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