COVID-19, Holy Week, and Preparing for Suffering with Love {Ep 104}

COVID-19 and suffering

At dinner a few nights ago, we asked our kids if they have any questions for God during this time of COVID-19 and suffering. They all nodded. “Why would God allow the coronavirus to happen?” William said. The girls’ echoed his thoughts, and I’ve heard from other parents whose kids are asking the same question. I imagine most of us have asked this question at some point in our lives, and probably at some point in the past few weeks during this COVID-19 crisis—if God is good, loving, and powerful, how can so much suffering exist? 

No Easy Answers for Suffering

We couldn’t offer any easy answers. There’s no formula to prove God’s existence, God’s love, or God’s power. There’s no checklist that explains how those characteristics of God could work together and produce the world of suffering we inhabit. 

That night, we offered some philosophical musings on the nature of love. How love is non-coercive. Powerful, but not forceful. How love works through humans, and so when humans say no to love, bad things result. Honestly, I’m not sure our answers helped our kids at all. 

COVID-19 and Suffering

I’m not sure this helped them either, but later on I remembered that the Christian answer to the problem of suffering is not a checklist or an airtight argument or a set of philosophical musings. The Christian answer to the problem of COVID-19 and suffering—all suffering— is the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. The answer is a life of love. 

We are entering into Holy Week, a week in which Jesus prepared for suffering and death. He did so with love. In this week’s episode of the Love is Stronger than Fear podcast, I talk at length about how Jesus’ final days on this earth helped to prepare him to face suffering, and how we too can enter into love in order to be better prepared for the days ahead. (You can listen to the episode via the player above or wherever you get your podcasts.)

Jesus. It’s a simple answer, but I struggle with it. I still want an equation. But I go back again and again to this person who taught us to love, who loved us through his own suffering and death, and who showed us that love is the only force powerful enough to overcome the grave. This Holy Week, I am looking for answers in Jesus.

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Podcast Show Notes

Philippians 1:19-30

Psalm 88

Psalm 63

Blog post I wrote about how Psalm 63 moves us towards hope

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Hi, I’m Amy Julia.

I write about faith, family, disability, and privilege.

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