Pain and Suffering
It is hard to watch people in the midst of pain and suffering or to be going through it yourself. When we are in it, we so desperately want someone to help us. When we witness it. Especially in a loved one, we want to help alleviate it as quickly as possible. However, have you ever stopped to think that you might be interfering with God’s plans? When I read the following verses, a new revelation came in.
In Matthew 16, he had performed many miracles in his disciples’ sight and then began preparing them for what was to come. Jesus explained how he had to go to Jerusalem and suffer through many things and be killed so he could rise again. Peter rebuked him, saying, “never, Lord, this shall never happen to you.” Jesus then said to Peter, “get behind me Satan!” From a human perspective, this seems like a rather harsh statement. Especially when it was directed at one of his most beloved disciples. Peter was worried about Jesus and was trying to assure him that he would not let him be mistreated or put to death. His interference though seemingly from love and care for Jesus, was actually arising out of Peter’s ego. The ego, the darkness of the soul, which wants nothing to do with God’s plans. Jesus was speaking to the darkness within Peter. He then went on to say, “you are a stumbling block to me. You do not have in mind the concern of God, but merely human concerns.” Peter would have hindered God’s plans for Jesus. In a sense, he would have enabled Jesus first with his words. Maybe trying to convince Jesus to avoid Jerusalem or made him question his destiny. Jesus could have easily latched onto the victimization, questioning and blaming God, possibly preventing him from his divine destiny. If Peter would have tried to take matters into his own hands by causing an uprising and fighting for Jesus’s survival, it may have prevented the crucifixion or even prevented the sharing of Jesus’s ministry because of his own death and possibly the rest of the disciples. Either way, if Jesus would have allowed Peter to enable him, Peter would have egotistically moved himself into the God spot. Exactly what Satan’s (false ego) goal is in our lives. It was through pain and suffering on the cross that Jesus was able to tear the veil and give us freewill access to God.
Our ego wants to avoid pain and suffering at all costs, knowing it’s the way toward intimate connection. Therefore, the ego attempts to prevent not only our own suffering but also the suffering of others. When we enable others, easing their pain and suffering, we prevent their fall. We play God by interfering and controlling it our way, instead of letting God’s plans unfold. We are not to get in the way of someone’s process. Jesus says in Matt 16:24-25, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life must lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world yet forget their Soul! Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?” You see, the fall, pain, and suffering are where we begin to be awakened to what needs to be healed within our soul. It is the darkness of the soul that makes up the ego. The ego, the false sense of self, is what Jesus asks us to deny. We are to go into the pain and suffering; Jesus will bring us through it. We don’t have to lose our physical life, but we must die unto our false ego so we can find our truth through connection to God and the remembering of who we were created to be.
Don’t make the same error Peter made by letting your ego thwart God’s plan to heal someone’s soul by enabling them in a time of pain and suffering. Nor allow anyone to enable you. Enabling can be as simple as taking sides in an argument, agreeing with and promoting victimized thinking, allowing complaining, easing the pain and suffering in any way, or even bailing someone out of a tough situation. Remember, God has the plan. God uses pain and suffering at times to push people into breaking through the stronghold of the ego. Instead, be a fair witness during their suffering, encourage them to look within and face their fears, let go and let God heal them.