I know my headline looks like click-bait. But have you ever felt “cursed” by more than your share of trouble in this life? Too many griefs and sorrows?
I was very saddened to hear of the death of Nabeel Qureshi this weekend due to malignant stomach cancer. He was a mighty warrior for the faith. He was young, too. Too young to die of cancer…
Within a few hours of his death my friend Penny also passed from cancer — lung cancer in her fifties.
In her case, cancer struck her husband six years earlier and claimed his life the year before my sis died of cancer. So much sorrow in one family, yet so much reason for hope! I’ll come back and explain this. Bear with me.
Sadly, the so-called “religion of peace” was adamantly posting on his FB wall that Nabeel was cursed because he converted to Christianity.
Was his suffering and death truly the result of God’s curse?
My friend Penny’s death? My sis-in-love?
What about the chronic, painful illnesses of those we love?
Let’s get downright honest:
What about Down’s babies?
What about Trisomy babies?
What about intersex babies?
How about anyone born with any sort of disability or chromosomal abnormality? The so-called “freaks of nature”?
I’m going to walk on some thin ice here.
Some of these conditions we never, ever talk about in our nice Christian circles. Certain conditions are more socially acceptable than others.
Adopting children with disabilities has gotten more good PR in the church lately. I’m very happy about this. After all, HOW PRO-LIFE are we if we ignore the least of these among us?
Almost all of those listed will encounter chronic illness.
Someone out there is giving care to all of these precious souls, I hope. Unless you’re conveniently executing them all like Iceland does? Sigh. Off topic. Yes, and no.
Cursed by God with disability or not? What do you think?
I’m getting ready to plunge through that thin ice now!
I want to be very clear. I’ve spent the last dozen years of my life deeply pondering personal suffering. I’m still not the expert! Many others have been schooled much more deeply in suffering.
I’ve poured over the Bible and Christian books.
Recently I told one of my elders that I had considered myself a reasonably compassionate person before all of this pile of trouble happened to us. Now I feel like I’ve gotten the rude awakening from God. Girl, you’ve got a lot more to learn! BAM!
Charles Haddon Spurgeon once wrote that Christians ought to be known as the kindest, gentlest, and most gracious of people.
Now Spurgeon was also known to be bold and clear with the truth, no mistaking it. However, he was known for his deep love for people.
He also suffered great physical pain that kept him out of his pulpit for months at a time. Was he cursed?
Here’s where I plunge through the ice completely! My answer? Yes and NO!
If you read the Bible and believe it, then part of this is no surprise. We were all cursed by Adam’s fall. The curse brought sin, death, and suffering upon the whole human race.
Read the first several chapters of Genesis if you have never done so! It’s a must-read if you are struggling to understand the Christian faith!
Satan was the crafty mastermind of this terrible event. When my daughter wailed why, why, WHY does my aunt have to die, I pointed the finger where it belonged. Satan started it. Man fell for it.
Please, child of mine, remember that God is good, Satan is bad, and don’t get the two mixed up. Please, please, don’t fall for Satan’s lies.
In the perfect environment, man freely chose evil. Why? Now that’s the real question. The whole creation is still groaning, waiting to be released from this curse. Romans 8:20-23
It’s a terrible and present reality.
Dear caregiver, you feel its wretched grip when you see those you love suffer.
Wait, what about the “not cursed” part? This is my favorite part. This hope gets me out of bed every morning. First, a refresher on the bad news, but keep reading to the end, please. That is where the GOOD news is parked.
“For all who rely on the works of the law are under the curse. For it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the Book of the Law, to do them.”
The Apostle Paul will explain also in Romans that if you want to go to heaven based on your good deeds, you cannot sin even once!
“Now it is evident that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, for ‘the just shall live by faith’.
But the law is not of faith, for, ‘the man who does them shall live by them’.
Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law by being made a curse for us — as it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree’ — Galatians 3:10-13
The good news is this: Jesus, fully God and fully man, bore our sin curse in His body on the cross. That means for believers in Jesus our present sufferings are temporary.
He told His disciples, “I have told you these things (long, loving sermon from John 13-16) so that in Me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation. But be of good cheer. I have overcome the world.”
Whatever else I do not “get” about suffering, I know this. My sin curse was laid on Jesus.
Pain and suffering are inescapable. None make it through this life unscathed.
Jesus didn’t sugar-coat this. He told His followers the truth.
He also assured them (and us) of His presence. In the floods, in the flames, in the valley of death’s shadow, He is there.
His rod protects is and His staff comforts and guides us.
In the end, I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. No curse can ever harm us there! I’ll never grieve again. No more goodbyes, no more suffering. Never, ever, ever again!