Paradox of the Cross

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I remember the very first time I saw my client’s medicine box, my heart shattered. Seeing especially the young ones (those in their 20s), eating 7 huge pills daily, and knowing that they’d have to do it for probably the rest of their lives, was heart-wrenching.

This reminded me of the pain one of my clients use to lament about. He, a Christian, frequently asked me: “How could a Good God who loves me so much make me go through so much suffering?”

My heart ached for him, and to be honest I did not know how to answer such a question — and I told him as such. But I did assure him that God isn’t deaf, and He definitely hears your cries of anguish and pain. Suffering is a great mystery.

Sometimes, the most holy and blameless men have to bear a great cross of suffering throughout their lives, whereas the sinful and worldly men sometimes get healed by God despite their negligible faith. Sheer experience tells us that there are some people who receive special healing from God and others who do not.

This is the paradox of the cross: We accept suffering not because it is good and not because we like it but as part of our vocation as followers of Jesus Christ. These crosses can become opportunities for us to grow closer to Jesus and give Him glory. Suffering unites us with Jesus. In short, we become more and more like Jesus.

Originally posted on Instagram.

Noel Ethan Tan

Noel Ethan Tan

Noel is a Singaporean working as a rehabilitation counsellor at ACC(S) Psychiatric Rehabilitation Centre. He is currently doing a part-time Masters Program in Counselling and Guidance at NTU, Singapore. In his church ministry, Noel is currently serving in a young adults' Catholic community called Anawim that does Bible Exegesis. Noel is also pursuing a Certificate in Theology at the Catholic Theological Institute of Singapore. His favorite Bible verse is 1 Peter 3:15 — “In your hearts, reverence Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to make a defense to any who calls you to account for the hope that is in you, but do it with gentleness and reverence.”

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1 thought on “Paradox of the Cross”

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    Suffering, which is unavoidable, gives us the opportunity to draw closer to God when we continue to trust in Him throughout the ordeal. This makes suffering more bearable.
    Without this, suffering is just a pain.

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