Every so often we face situations or circumstances that shake us to the very core. These moments make us question all that we understand and all that we believe, especially when we are faced with the health and well being of a family member or someone that we love.
In the 2010 single, “Show me a God” by Kansas City rap artist, Tech N9ne, the audience walks through these same moments as Tech begins to confront these very thoughts and fears as he watches his mother struggle with her health and her mental state.
As first listen, I was under the impression that the rap pioneer was making a mockery of God and Jesus, but upon further review and analyzing of the lyrics I was quickly able to relate to the pain that courses through the words of the independent artist.
Now, ten years after the song’s initial release, I am able to relate now more than ever. Due to the fact that I, as well as my wife, now have a family members battling their own health issues. We are now standing beside our own family, asking many of the same questions that are addressed in this song.
Why did this happened? Or Why does God allow this?
As we grow in our faith or as we grow as adults our way of thinking and our understanding of the most complicated aspects of life will develop and evolve. We begin to understand things that a young child can never wrap their mind around. The more we grow in our faith the more likely it is that we will face a situation that forces us to ask this question. Whether we are facing cancer, death, poverty, starvation or hatred, we begin to wonder why God allows this type of suffering in our lives.
Tech n9ne asks it this way:
“How come an angel gotta be sick in the pancreas like she an atheist?
Maybe it's the faith that is making this lady as crazy and has made me this skeptic
Next threat is Lupus on top of Epileptic, Never rested
Psychiatrist forever tested, Reverend blessed it
Brethren, Heaven, Tech is begging' for effin' X-Mas”
Throughout this song, we see Tech questioning his faith in God due to his mother’s pain and suffering. This is entirely understandable. Men like Job and Habakkuk, as well as countless others in the Bible experience similar suffering without any notice or reason and they are left thinking the same thing; Why?
On the website, explored.com, it is stated this way, “The Bible leaves many of our questions about suffering unanswered. However, what it does do is tell us the story of a God who has come close to us in the midst of our suffering, who actually suffered for us, who will one day destroy suffering forever.”
The Bible says it this way:
“Out of my distress I called on the Lord;
the Lord answered me and set me free.
The Lord is on my side; I will not fear.
What can man do to me?” Psalm 118:5-6.
This verse shows that God hears our prayers of distress and brokenness, which means that God is also close enough to us to set us free from our brokenness. Too often it through our suffering and our brokenness that we are drawn closer to God. I believe that is one of the reasons for our suffering, to bring us closer to a God that can relate to our pain because God has experienced the pain through his son, Jesus. Therefore, God can heal us from our suffering, even if it after the suffering has taken place.
“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:4
Is God listening to our prayers?
As believers who are involved in the church and involved in the church community, It is extremely difficult when we are facing a life-changing situations that causes us to questions whether God hear our prayers. While we are praying for God to bring healing to our family members or to bring healing to broken relationships, it gets very discouraging when it seems like our prayers go unanswered. When our prayers go answered, how can we be expected to keep praying and keep hoping that God will heal? How can we keep from growing tired and loosing faith in the God that we follow?
Tech n9ne asks it this way:
“In the church every Sunday
I've been searching' for one way
Or another, you're gonna have to curse me or burst me with a sun-ray
To let me know that you're coming or en route
I'm 'bout ninety-nine, but I need a hundred percent proof.”
Tech shares that through this time of unfair suffering that he’s searching for answers, which is bringing him to church and to God, but he ultimately feels ignored and as if his prayers are not being heard. Once again, I understand that struggle, especially when you’re seeking such important answers.
The Bible says it this way:
Throughout the entire Bible, God reveals to us that he hears our crying and our destress to our suffering. Ultimately, we see that we need God in our lives. We do not need freedom from our suffering. We soon see that our suffering is what brought us face-to-face to God, where we realize how much we needed God to begin with. exploregod.com says it this way, “When Job sees God, he no longer needs an answer. God himself is the answer. Job responds with joy and repentance.”
“But from there you will seek the Lord your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul. When you are in tribulation, and all these things come upon you in the latter days, you will return to the Lord your God and obey his voice.” Deuteronomy 4:29-30.
These versus that mention that we will encounter God and listen to God’s voice is not an “or else” scenario, it is actually us coming to terms with the goodness of God and realizing that we actually have a desire to know God and follow in what God has said throughout the Bible. Even in the midst of our suffering it is better to know God than to go through the same suffering without a God who relates the suffering and who can guide us through the pain.
To sum it up exploregod.com gives us a simple, yet impactful choice: “Suffering can sweeten and deepen us. Suffering can poison and embitter us. We have a choice.”