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Books, Life

The Problem of Pain

The Problem of Pain is my newest, go to C.S. Lewis recommendation.  If you haven’t read it, you should.

Pain is the question of how we reconcile a good, creator-God with our present experience of suffering.  It is a uniquely Judeo-Christian problem.  As always, C.S. Lewis is profound and direct: “to surrender a self-will inflamed and swollen with years of usurpation is itself a kind of death.” 

I’ve been collecting quotes and scripture that speak to my attempts to understand pain and have compiled them into the following narrative.  (I suggest you work through these slowly, maybe even write them in a journal.)

“My soul is downcast within me;
therefore I will remember you…
Deep calls to deep
in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers
have swept over me.” -Psalm 42:6-7

“God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” –C.S. Lewis

“There is no substitute for true suffering.” -Carl Jung

“The only way out is through.” -Robert Frost

“We also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” -Romans 5:3-4

“Unearned suffering is redemptive.” -MLK Jr.

“It is the experience of genuine grief that prepares for joy.” -Walter Wangerin

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.  See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?” -Isaiah 43:18-19

“My sufferings are things of which I am most proud, though these are things which cannot inspire envy.” -Viktor E. Frankl


About Samantha Curley

Hi! My name is Samantha Curley. I live in Pasadena, California where I run a non-profit organization called Level Ground (onlevelground.org). I like to ponder, ask questions, and share stories about life, art, and faith.


One thought on “The Problem of Pain

  1. Here’s one our pastor just preached about yesterday — and we are all supposed to memorize it:

    “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:24)

    Posted by Betsy | January 23, 2012, 3:30 PM

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