Once, a legend of USA surfer Laird Hamilton wrote in his blog. Ocean is a great teacher. Form ocean we can learned anything about life—it’s simple, not new topics. But he learned many things and be his principle. He wrote 10 things he learned as a surfer, but I want highlight one of ten things he wrote, “understand you’re not in control.” Ocean remembering us, we don’t really have control. As a man we can’t think we in control or we have control for anything. We can imagine what happen in the future, but we don’t have power to control it. We can’t predict what will be happen in our life—we just imagine it.
More than two years we are in the pandemic condition. Pandemic teach us life is unpredictable—man can predict what will happen in the pandemic condition—it’s means, man has no power to control pandemic. Many things man can’t control, the pandemic is one of thousand things. So, all things in the earth not about you and me.
In the Bible Job, King David, the Apostle, etc. they can’t control what happen to them—even they have a power like King David—still they can control the suffering. Man feel God not working in their suffering. C. S. Lewis in Problem of Pain wrote, “Lord, why are you easier to find when life is going well, but so hard for me to find when my life needs your help?” in the suffering God as if it would do nothing and we draw a conclusion God is nothing or God never care his creatures, moreover we grumbling to God and said, “God, you are evil to me, and I will no longer worship you.”
Photo by Kristopher Roller on Unsplash
I remember Saint Thomas Aquinas quotes Saint Augustine in the great book The Summa Theologiae, “Since God is the highest good, he would not allow any evil to exist in His works, unless his omnipotence and goodness were such as to bring good even out of evil.” From the quotes of Saint Augustine we can see, God has a super power to bring out goodness from the evil—man can’t do this. Like the narration of Joseph in Genesis 37, 39-50, he can control all things happen to him, but he said “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people …” (Gen. 50:20 ESV)
In other word, God has a good plan for you and for me. Suffering is not a sign that God doesn't care or doesn't do anything about His creation. the focus is not on God, but on ourselves, do we want to be quiet and hear what God wants to do in our lives? So, how to surfing in the waves of suffering with God? For me praying is an important thing to do when surfing amidst waves of suffering. Praying is sign that we are fully surrendered to God, the ruler of the universe.
Why praying? First, remember when David was so afraid when he ran away from his son Absalom? in the midst of fear of the enemies who besieged him, David said, “From the Lord comes deliverance” (Ps. 3:8 NIV). From praying we can get true reinforcement from God. Second, firm in our faith. In John 6:35-40 Jesus said,” … whoever comes to me I will never cast out. (John 6:37 ESV).” trust in Him and His Omnipotence. He is in control for all things happen in the earth. Trust Him in his promise, because He can ensure His promises are fulfilled in our lives. Jesus is the provider of "true bread" and he is true bread, so he can be relied on. Third, be aware each other. Why we need point thee? Rev. Yohanes Adrie Hartopo in his preach at GKY Kuta Bali said, "If we stop at the point of building a relationship and fellowship with God, and be firm in faith, we will think that we are able to face the storms and waves of suffering in this life." In our live, we don't live alone, but there are people around us. So, be aware of their existence, support and be partners who complement and bless each other. fight along with them. I hope God will find us to remain faithful and faithful when the day of the Lord comes. let's surf with God.
 St. Thomas Aquinas, The Summae Theologiae Q. 3, Art. 1, Pt. 1, p. 14.