The question is often asked, “If there is a God, a loving, merciful God, why does He allow people to suffer? How can He allow humans to experience the terrible accidents, illnesses, crime, wars, family troubles, and calamities that are so common in this world every day? Doesn’t He care?” Why doesn’t He, in all His might and omniscience, put an end to all the problems that the world and its inhabitants endure on a daily basis. Either there must not be a God at all, or if there is, He cannot hear or understand me anymore, meaning He just does not care as much as He says He does.
God does care. He knows when humans suffer. However, let us remember, God isn’t a mere human. He is God. He is the ONLY Omniscient God. His perspective is infinitely greater than ours. He sees the “bigger picture” – that our experiences as mortal humans, however painful or unhappy, will be to our eventual benefit. Make no mistake, the good and loving Creator would not allow such things to happen otherwise. Elevate your level of faith just a little bit and you will soon see the joy at the end of the pain.
When a parent takes an infant to the doctor for a regular vaccination to prevent some childhood disease, it’s because the parent cares for and loves that child. The young child however will almost always see things very differently. When the doctor’s needle goes into that little, tiny arm, the child will most assuredly cry out in pain. It may even look up at the parent, with those big innocent eyes, in the most pleading and pitiful way, as if to say, “Look at the horrible thing that’s happening to me! Don’t you care about my terrible suffering? How can you just stand there and allow this to go on? Don’t you love me?” The parent however knows better. He or she is aware that everything is going to be all right in a very short time (even though it almost always has an emotional impact on the parent to see the child distressed in such a way). A minor, brief pain is the price the child pays for a healthier life in the future.
Likewise with us. God is our ultimate parent. Just as an infant cannot possibly understand the motives of its parent while it is still only a child, so too we cannot appreciably comprehend God’s Will for us while we are still as we are. It’s a matter of perspective – the brief few years of a physical human lifetime, versus the eternity, time without end, that will follow. God knows all about the problems we often have, but He also knows that our experiences with pain and suffering, along with all of the good experiences that we may have, will, among other things, help to make us more understanding and compassionate – necessary qualities for those who themselves will one day influence the lives of others going through similar types of suffering.
When Christ Himself died for our sins, he did not die without terrible suffering. He did not die peacefully in His sleep. He was not executed by painless lethal injection. Even though He had lived a perfectly sinless life, and had committed no crime, He was brutally beaten, flogged and crucified in great agony before being gored with a spear. He later rose up, pain-free, and thus ended the prospect of eternal suffering forever. Let’s remember that even the longest human life is merely like a single grain of sand on the infinite beach of the eternal life to come. With all the second and third chances that the Lord gives us to experience joy and happiness, let’s not forget that after we have become immortal, even a century of the worst human pain and suffering would seem to us as almost insignificant, a momentary jab with a vaccination needle, and we will surely be the better for having experienced it.If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him. – C T Studd
The suffering that God allows in our lives is the only form of blessing that most people cannot appreciate because of their weakness in understanding and lack of trust in God’s will for them. – Father Meina Albert Youssef