“If God is all-powerful then why does he allow suffering?”
BAMM! It’s one of those questions that your teen throws at you when he doesn’t want to go to church. POW! Christians cringe when they hear it and immediately go on the defensive. SPLAT! It’s the question that probably keeps a lot of non-Christians from committing to a life of faith. Frankly, it’s a GREAT question…..and the answer is – I don’t know.
I don’t know why God allows (not causes) suffering and pain.
Maybe – God allows suffering in order to create an amazing testimony. Like the Rhonda Rousey clip we saw on Sunday…..when a celebrity who we look up to admits pain that we can identify with – it helps hundreds of people to heal. Or, maybe something horribly heinous happens – like kamikaze suicide pilots attacking the United States on 9/11 – terrible death, destruction and chaos ensued. But – the result was that thousands of people started praying, churches filled to capacity and neighbors actually started helping neighbors again.
Or maybe – the suffering and pain that God allows in our lives is meant to change us. Personally.
When I look back at the tribulations in my life that have been the hardest, those struggles that have caused the most pain, when the heartache was so unbearable I wished I would die – that suffering that God allowed – changed me. Personally.
The pain brought me to my knees in prayer. The grief devastated me so badly – that only God could heal me. The turmoil that destroyed my own little world forced me to admit that I needed God in my life. I truly believe that God loves us so much that he would do or allow anything that would cause us to turn to him.
You see -when we give our burdens and suffering and heartache to God – he gives only love in return. And then, something incredible happens ….. the pain turns to peace.
“My soul finds rest in God alone. My salvation comes from him.” Psalm 82:1
In the pain and in the sorrow and in the suffering my all-powerful God is waiting with open arms to hold me and comfort me and assure me of an everlasting relationship.
He is waiting for you, too.