Recently I had a discussion with one of my coworkers about this topic and since then it has been on my mind. Mainly because……many people struggle with this question:
Why does God allow suffering?
It’s a good question! Why should He allow bad things to happen to us? Why do bad things happen to good people if God has the power to protect them from it?!
To truly know the answer to this question, you have to have suffered greatly at some point in life. And seen God bring you through it.
So……..tonight I write to you as someone who has. And hopefully, this post can help someone who is struggling to understand.
In September of 2018 my little sister Anna passed away after having surgery to replace one of her kidneys. It should have been a routine surgery that would have changed the course of her life forever. She would no longer have to do dialysis! We were so excited yet scared out of our minds at the same time.
I remember that the night of the surgery, I barely slept. I stayed up almost all night praying and asking God to help her to have a successful surgery. It was one of the scariest nights of my life. And in the morning I learned that the surgery had been successful! She was ok.
I remember visiting her in the hospital after the surgery and being so glad to see her. Yet in hindsight I could see now that she knew something was wrong. She was in pain and didn’t understand why. So we tried to cheer her up with words of encouragement and visions of the future………but it wasn’t enough. She asked for my mom to stay with her that night and the doctors allowed it.
That night I travelled home alone, not knowing that I would never see my little sister again. That day was her 25th birthday.
If you have been following this blog for a while, you would know that I grew up as a Christian (for the most part), and that I genuinely love God. But what you may not know is that God used my little sister’s passing to radically change my life and my understanding of what it means to be a true Christian.
Looking back now I can safely say that had I died prior to 2018, I was going straight to hell. Not because I was promiscuous or had started taking drugs (I never did any of those things) but because I was RELIGIOUS. I had a form of godliness but no real relationship with God. I was a sinner sitting in the pews.
And God used the hardest storm of my life to change the trajectory of my future.
So why does God allow suffering?
To teach us and to strengthen us. Suffering has a beautiful purpose!
James 1:2-4 says:
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
James 1:2-4 ESV
And this was the conclusion that my coworker and I came to. God uses bad situations in our lives for our good.
The divorce, the miscarriage, the molestation while you were a child. Even that was for a good purpose.
For some of you it happened to redirect you to the right course for your life, like it was for me. Or for some of you it was to build a strength in you that you will need for the future. And all of it, yes all of it, was so that you would have a testimony that you can share with someone else so that they too could see that God loves them and is with them and will bring them through too.
The sad thing is……that many people miss it. They miss the lesson in it and instead hold on to anger toward God or the person(s) involved. They can’t see any good in God allowing the situation to happen. Why didn’t God protect them from it? He is GOD!!!
And while pondering this, I felt as if God gave me an answer:
What happens to children that grow up having everything that they ever wanted given to them? They are in a rich family and never go hungry and will probably inherit the family business. They live on ‘easy street’.
What kind of adults do they usually grow up to be?
And I thought……well they grow up spoilt! ‘Spoilt rotten’ is the term usually used for kids like that.
And that is how we would be if God allowed us to live our life ‘blessed’ all the time. We would become puffed up and ungrateful. I know I would! You couldn’t talk to me!! Trying to help someone else would be the last thing on my mind.
He is a loving Father. A Father that knows why He created you. Man has a choice and so sometimes broken, wicked people do wicked things to others. But God steps in and heals what is broken and takes the pain away. He is the only one who can. Everything else will fail you.
I’ve seen Him do it for me and for countless others. I know He can do it for you too. Cry out to God from your heart and ask Him to help you and to give you the right Perspective.
Bad things will happen in this broken world but there is a God who sees and knows all things. And He has a plan for you. One that is good and will not harm you but will prosper you and give you a future and a hope. An expected end with Him forever. ❤