Jonathan was studying by a window in a large quiet room when I approached him and asked if he spoke English and if he had time for a survey. He asked what the survey was for and I told him that I was with a new student organization on campus called Vida Estudiantil, and we offered free English clubs, opportunities to serve the less fortunate and spiritual meetings. He understood but then asked, “But, why are YOU doing this spiritual study?”
I told Jonathan that growing up I went to church but it didn’t affect my life and my choices much. My philosophy of life was to have the most fun that I could. So when I went to college I didn’t attend church much, because it wasn’t a lot of fun. As I lived out that philosophy it turned out that in my pursuit of fun I hurt the people around me and I hurt myself, so I started looking for answers. I really didn’t know where to look so I went to the book that my parents did, the Bible. As I read it my eyes open up and I understood for the first time what Jesus was all about.
I assumed that God was out to prevent me from having fun, but as I read I realized that God loved me deeply and wanted to forgive me of my mistakes and help me to live a better more full life. So I asked Jesus for help, and I know that he heard me, and He forgives my sin, and started to help me to live in a new way. Jonathan heard the quick story and asked, “But what about all the suffering in the world, the poor and those in earthquakes?”
Not really knowing where the answer was coming from I said, “God heart breaks for all of those suffering. He cares for them more than any person does.” Not really satisfied with the answer Jonathan asked, “What about poor defenseless babies what about when they suffer?” Again I said, “God’s heart breaks for babies as well he loves them so much and doesn’t want to see them suffer.
“Then why?” Jonathan blurted out, “Why is there so much suffering?”
“Because of sin.” I said. “We all choose to sin and the effects of sin are painful not only for us but for the people around us as well.”
“Well how can we get rid of all the sin?” Jonathan asked, “Does Jesus have to die again?”
“No. Jesus died for sin once and for all. Now we just need to make the choice to follow God rather than sin and help others to do the same.”
Jonathan and I talked a little longer and he asked about the pain that sin had caused me personally and how I hurt others. I told him more of my story. We never did get to that spiritual survey but we both got to meet a new friend. Through our conversation I was reminded that Jesus is the answer. Jesus is not just the answer for me but for anyone who is willing to trust Him. Jesus also answers the hard questions in life like, why is there pain and suffering in the world.