Benjamin Franklin noted, “In the world nothing can be certain, except death and taxes.”
To Franklin’s two certainties, one could add “suffering.”
Pain is real and all humans experience it. What are we to make of it?
Ravi Zacharias and Vince Vitale wrestle with subject of suffering in their book, Why Suffering? One story and its moral give a heavenly perspective (pp. 57, 58):
I recall some years ago being on a flight and, during the descent, a baby was screaming with pain. One could tell the little one’s ears must have been hurting. I could feel the sudden descent triggering discomfort in my own ears. Everyone was intently swallowing, or trying to pop their ears, but the child just kept screaming.
I turned around to see how the mother was handling it. I saw her holding the baby to her chest with her head leaned back, tears running down her face. How could she properly explain to the child that soon they would be at their destination and the pain would cease.
I couldn’t help but think of Jesus at the tomb of Lazarus …. [as He] stood by the grave and wept.
Then with the authority Jesus alone had, He called forth Lazarus from the grave. The power He had, He displayed. And the sorrow He felt in the face of the death of a friend was not hidden either. Why the tears? Why the heartache? He knew He was going to raise Lazarus from the grave. I suspect like the mother clutching the child, Jesus must have wondered, How do I explain to them that when they reach their final destination, the pain will be gone?