Some suffering may be redemptive, but some is just plain senseless


“Why do you think God allowed you to get Parkinsons?” This question or some derivative of it is commonly put to me, or if not put to me directly, at least thought about. Behind it lies the assumption that there must be some divine purpose to everything that happens, including the bad. People want to make meaning out of suffering, and thinking that it is part of a grand plan of God...

Why Me?


I sometimes get asked how I answer the ‘why me?’ question. As my my tremors increase and my movements become slower, it seems a particularly and painfully relevant question. Why me, when I have given my life to serving Christ? Why me, when there’s so much more to do? The truth is, I have never really asked the question, at least not with a sense of anguish or outrage. Lurking...

Jesus and Suffering


“Life is difficult.” So begins Scott Peck’s best selling book, The Road Less Travelled. This has certainly been driven home to me the last couple of years. At some stage most of us experience significant pain. A broken relationship. A debilitating illness. A period of unemployment. A violent assault. And finally, death. Christians are not immune to this. We follow a suffering Saviour who warns...

When Should We Stop Praying for a Miracle?


A few years back I was asked to visit a critically ill man to pray for him. When I arrived at the hospital it was clear that the man, in his late 70’s, was near death. He was unconscious and hospital staff had suggested family members come quickly to say their goodbyes. A number of them were present. In the room was also the pastor from a church of another denomination that one of the...

God’s Spankings. Disaster and the Hand of God


In February 2011 I walked into my doctor’s rooms to be told I have Parkinson’s disease- that over time I will lose the ability to control my body. At forty five years of age I was young to be diagnosed. There is no cure. For years I have wondered about the role of God when the world doesn’t function as it should. I have debated, theologised and speculated. Now the questions are much more...

God Didn’t Plan for Me to Have Parkinsons. Bad Stuff Just Happens


People sometimes wonder whether there is a grand purpose behind their suffering. For me that translates to whether there is some divine purpose behind my Parkinsons? I don’t think there is. I live in a world that is fractured and broken. That brokenness is, in part at least, the result of sin and evil, two realities that are chaotic and disordered. And when you live in that type of a world...

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