Saturday, March 15, 2008

Suffering, Fatherhood & God

In the next week we will consider suffering, particularly the sufferings of Christ. In my work, I encounter the mystery of suffering a lot and I struggle at times to find meaning in the suffering of my patients, as many of them do. Why do trials come our way? Why does life seem hard? Why does God seemingly test us all the time?

Today I took the boys swimming. A few years ago, I taught Paulinus Minor Major to swim. It was hard work. He would have preferred to have kept his waterwings. But I took the bull by the horns and one day (after many tears) they were removed. So it started. First (again after many tears) he would cast off a couple of feet into my arms. Gradually I moved further and further away and each move of a couple of feet needed negotiation - often with much pleading and protest. Sometimes I was sneaky and would move a little further as he was swimming to me - to much recrimination. Now, they both delight in swimming. Paulinus Minor Major is the fastest swimmer in his year at school. I saw him this morning swim gracefully through the water as if it were the most natural thing in the world.Yet here was a boy who used to be in floods of tears at the thought of swimming 2 metres. He hated swimming for those few weeks, loathed the thought of going near a pool and probably loathed me too for taking him swimming.

So I think of the love our heavenly Father has for us - infinitely more than my imperfect love as a father. How He leads us on when we can hate what He asks of us. How our tears and suffering may lead us on to swim gracefully in the spiritual life - to become what He wants us to be in much greater ways than my boy has become a graceful, quick and joyful swimmer after all those tears and tantrums.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good story. It reminds me of a sermon I heard the other day. :)

I wish I were more confident swimming. I had an accident in my early 20s, and since then my confidence has been very low.

8:38 AM  
Blogger Ttony said...

And being an imperfect human father makes you realise just what a big deal our heavenly Father is - imagine getting it right every time! Imagine getting it right one time out of five!

(And you're not "blessed" with a teenage daughter, either.)

7:16 PM  
Blogger la mamma said...

Our children teach us so much, don't they, about our relationship with God? Let's pray that they may learn to love their heavenly Father through the example of their parents.

12:32 PM  

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