What Does God Feel When We Suffer?

My cat, Tabasco, recently had his teeth cleaned. This procedure required anesthesia, meaning I had to bring him to the vet on an empty stomach. That morning, Tabasco happily followed me to the kitchen, purring softly in joyful anticipation at being fed. But as I went about preparing my breakfast without giving him his morning portion, he looked at me with confusion, which quickly turned to shock. Finally, he decided that more drastic measures were needed. He mustered his best “command” meow, poked me with his paw (claws fully drawn), and finished by nipping at my ankles. When none of this worked, he retreated to the other room to mope. To make matters worse, I soon forced him into his carrier and then abandoned him with strangers.

How do you think I felt while observing his behavior? Terrible, that’s how! I so wished I could explain to him what was happening. All I could do was pet him and talk to him, knowing full well that none of my words made any sense.

This little incident made me ponder about how God feels when we go through difficult times. I’m not implying the two situations are at all comparable, but if I was hurting as I watched Tabasco’s discomfort, how much more must God feel pain as he sees our suffering and wishes he could explain it all to us.

As I observed Tabasco, I realized that I often behave in the same way with the “why’s” of life. First shock and confusion, then accusations and rebellion, and finally resignation and depression. Such reactions are typical, and the pages of the Bible are full of people pouring out their pain and complaints to God. But the Lord is not indifferent to our plight. Just as I wished I could make Tabasco understand why I wasn’t feeding him, I’m sure that God would gladly explain the reasons to us, if only we could grasp his answer. But many truths are beyond our comprehension.

I have no idea what goes on in the mind of a cat, but I hoped Tabasco could still trust me despite his shock and confusion.  The same goes for God. Even though we may not understand the pathways of our lives and unanswered questions clutter our minds, the Lord says to us, “Have faith in me. I love you, and even though I can’t explain to you what’s happening, you can trust me.”

To see God’s attitude towards us as we go through troubles, we don’t need to look any further than to Jesus. His time spent on earth was full of compassion, mercy, and love. He saw and felt our pain.

Do you trust him?

Picture: Carol Schlorff

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This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Julie

    I love your writing and insight Carol. I am still waiting to read your book.. ( the one about the kids meeting king David).

    1. Carol

      Thanks. I’m still revising the book, but getting closer to finishing.

  2. Cherie DeAngelis

    Great comparison! The picture of Tabasco was good to draw us i to the article. Well done!

    1. Carol

      Thanks.

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