Hi, Julie —
Suffering is a mystery that has the
elements of physical or psychological
pain, . . . at times, injustice, . . and confusion,
in the light of the question of how
an all loving, all powerful God could
let it happen. Here are five points
to think about when pondering the
idea of human suffering:
- The first thing I think we
need to realize is that this is
God's story, not ours; and however He wants to write it, is His business.
He is the author of the universe
and of our lives.
- We realize that God is all-good,
all-powerful, and perfect Love.
This means that whatever
He allows to occur is a blessing
in disguise or something He can
make a greater good come out of.
- God does not create evil, but
allows it. It is man, by his free
choices, that spreads evil which
sometimes comes in the form of
suffering for himself or others.
God allows it because He cannot
contradict Himself by taking away
man's free will and its consequences.
Persons must be free and because
we are all cells in the body of
Christ, we are affected by everything
everyone else does, for the good
or for the bad.
- The gift of existence is an
unimaginably, untenably, wonderful
gift. To exist with suffering
is infinitely better than to never
have never existed at all. Life
goes on forever and suffering
is but a blip in the screen comparatively.
- And lastly, no one is perfectly
innocent or righteous in the eyes
of God, for we are all tainted
and imbalanced in some way due
to inheriting original sin as
being part of Adam. Even the suffering
of a small child can serve to
make him or her a better person,
and vicariously it can win grace
for others too.
We can speculate though.
Since God can see all, suppose, hypothetically,
that God foresees that a particular baby would grow up to become prideful
and ultimately reject Him, meriting
an eternity in Hell.
- Would not a loving Father who
foresees this, allow obstacles
to thwart that possibility, even
if it included much temporal suffering
to the person?
- And if God's foreknowledge sees
that because of my eventual stubborn
pride, an early death is the only
way for me to avoid eternal suffering
in Hell, should I not see it as
an act of mercy of His part to
take me as a baby or small child?
A short earthly life with an eternity
of blissful happiness in the presence
of God in Heaven is infinitely better
than a long earthly life that leads
to an eternity of misery in Hell.
- How do we know what God is doing
in the interplay of our free will
here on Earth and His deep love
for us love since only He knows
the big picture?
Trust is what is needed, and (prayer
for having that trust) is what is
Put this altogether and you metaphorically
have life as a mystery novel that
can only be understood when the entire
book has been read. God is the author
and perhaps, after Christ comes back, we
will be able to see the big
picture through His Eyes and the
happy ending that He allowed. Then
we might see how apparent
injustices like the suffering and
death of a child are actually the
perfect pieces in God's puzzle of
Hope this helps,