Why?… Why did God see fit to allow suffering to be the thing that refines us, defines us, purges self-absorption and brings us to a point of dependence upon Him? Why did He sit fit to allow His own Son to suffer the indignities of becoming human including being ridiculed, mocked, abused and ultimately brutally murdered for our sin? In my humanness, I could think of a much more pleasant scenario. How about just causing us to love without choosing to sin? How about sending His Son to wipe out all the evil and just rule over us without all the suffering and bloodshed? Oh, the messiness and complication of free will! True love only comes with that tiny little aspect of our humanity. We all get to choose. We all get to love God, or not… Of course, the question isn’t really, “Why so much suffering?” The question is, “Why isn’t there more?” If we truly all got what we deserved, we would suffer the indignities and torture that Jesus went through. After all, it was our sin that nailed Him to the cross. So, why don’t we suffer more? Because God so loved the WORLD that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life… That’s just not fair, is it? Not to Jesus. When I question why I will probably never see some of my loved ones in heaven, I imagine the pain that this must bring to my Father. How could someone chase after the things of this world and think that these earthly treasures could satisfy more than a relationship with our Creator? What good does a Mercedes Benz or a condo in Europe do for you once your earthly body ceases to function? How important is a Phd after your name when it’s carved on your gravestone? And yet, He pursues us relentlessly until our final breath. He offers Himself as an alternative to chasing after the wind. He doggedly runs us down and whispers, no SHOUTS – “I am here – loving you, leading you and luring you into grace.” Will you listen? Will you follow? Will you relent? Oh Lord, I pray so. For every one of my siblings and friends who do not know you, may I be a conduit of Your deep and atoning love. Give me the grace and presence of mind to always be aware of these fleeting moments of opportunity. They will not remain forever… How deep the Father’s love for us. How vast beyond all measure. That He should give His only Son, to make this wretch His treasure.