Thinking about Shadowlands, C. S. Lewis, and suffering reminded me of something I wrote a while back:
Think about Job. Think about the exquisite targeted surgical strike Satan performed on him. He took his wealth. He took his children. But look what he left. He left his ‘friends’ to commiserate with him and give him advice about where he went wrong and how to recover. And he left his wife who said, “Curse God and die.” This would have to be the ultimate victory for Satan, a scenario that would give him the greatest satisfaction and sense of accomplishment: to curse God and die with no possibility that the victim has the opportunity to realize his error and repent.
You can imagine God and Satan sitting side by side watching Job’s life unfold. Satan is excited, anticipating the victory, waiting for Job to give up and follow his wife’s instructions. God sits quietly waiting for Job to respond. And Job comes out with statements like ‘Though God slay me yet will I trust Him.’ Satan is defeated. His most clever tactics are not enough to sway Job from his faith in God.
We wonder why bad things happen to good people. We wonder how God could love us if He allows tragedies to happen to us. But aren’t we inspired by the hero who prevails when all seems lost? Don’t we honor most the winner who gets up off the canvas, who comes back from defeat? Others are inspired when we persevere in the face of tragedy.
And God cheers when we overcome.