And no, I don’t believe that suffering is a mechanism to get close to God. No, I wouldn’t deny children basic pain medication, nor would I defer medical treatment, again because it is good to suffer. (No, it is not good to suffer) If it were good to suffer we would not need Jesus.
Of course, those who suffer should expect relief. And once monies received are at hand that can assist those who suffer medically, it should not be withheld because their status is dismal and the sick would probably die anyway.
And for those who are dedicated to serve Jesus should in no way troubadour around the world as if one were an idolized celebrity. Is this the symbolic icon of Jesus? Does Jesus really hang around one’s neck in gold and poses crucified so that we can enjoy our savior as he suffered? Of course, not. His crucifixion was a horrible, disgraceful experience, not one in which we ornate jewelry so we can show how much we love. He told us to take up our cross, not to make a cute talisman to hang around our neck, demonstrating piety.
My take on this is:
Sufferer: “Jesus. I need you. Come down off that cross and help me.”
Jesus: “I’ve already come off the cross. I died, was risen again after three days for you.”
Sufferer: “Then help me. I need your help.”
Jesus: “I have sent my family, my church to take care of you.”
Sufferer: “And when will they arrive?”
Jesus: “Lord knows.”
Sufferer: “None of this helps. I am in pain. I am sick and without. I have nowhere to go.”
Jesus: “Have faith.”
Sufferer: “I have faith. I need help and I need it now.”
Jesus: “Looks like I will have to come back to earth to take care of this. Hold on, if you are able.”
Sufferer: “Jesus. Thank God. I have no choice but to wait.”