“God is love. That is why He suffers. To love our suffering, sinful world is to suffer. God so suffered for the world that He gave His only Son to suffering. The one who does not see God's suffering does not see His love. God is suffering love. So suffering is down at the centre of things, deep down where the meaning is. Suffering is the meaning of our world. For Love is the meaning. And Love suffers. The tears of God are the meaning of history.” Wolterstorff
Your child is rejected by a “friend.”
Your child is unfairly treated by a teacher.
Your child is demeaned and humiliated by a bully.
Your child is in recovery the day after open heart surgery.
In each of these cases you sit back with detached amusement as you watch your child experience emotional, physical and relational pain.
Of course not.
There are actually people on this planet who think amusement, or at least gross detachment is how our Creator reacts to our pain. There was a time when even I have asked, “How can God just sit there and watch this happen?”
I now know better.
God does not “watch” our suffering.
God endures our suffering.
Just as our heart breaks along with our child's broken heart, our child's fears, our child's pain and suffering, so too does our loving Father endure our suffering along with us. As Jesus said:
“As you have done it to these, so you have done it to Me.”
“When you give a cup of cold water to someone, you are giving it to Me.”
People say, “If I could do something to rescue my child, I'd do it.”
Yes, most of us would be able to say that. And so has God.
Romans 8:32 says, “If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, experiencing the human condition and exposing Himself to the worst we could offer by sending His own Son to die for us, it's clear that there isn't anything else He wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us.”
Only love could motivate our Creator to forgive us for crucifying Jesus.
Only love could motivate our Saviour to die in our place so that we might live.
Speaking metaphorically, God's love for us is so great that if you choose to go to hell, you're going to have to step over Jesus' dead body in order to get there.