Have you ever wondered why God allows suffering?
The hardest part about going through hard times is watching the hurt and pain that my children suffer. Working through my own fears and doubts was a lot of work but it was nothing compared to the heartache I felt over my sweet babies. They had done nothing to deserve what happened to them. Knowing that my foolish choices opened the door to their pain was something I struggled with for a very long time.
Sometimes bad stuff happens. Even to the innocent. As I tried to make sense of all the pain, I was left with one question for God: Why?!
That one word echoed in my heart and mind all day long. My soul screamed at God. I was prepared to face the consequences of my sin and poor choices but my children were where I drew the line. I was confused, frustrated, and a little angry. I wanted to know why.
Why did I have to watch my boys’ hearts break every single day?
Why did I have to stand by while they were hurt over and over?
Why didn’t God step in and keep them safe from all of this?
With clenched fists, tears streaming down my face, and my heart racing I demanded an answer from God. And He answered.
3 Reasons God Allows Us to Suffer
The Bible tells us that Job demanded an answer from God as well. He lost almost everything: his children, his servants, his cattle, and his health. His friends and wife were of no help to him as he suffered. If you have ever been at a point where you felt you had nothing left to lose, I bet you can relate to Job.
That night as I lay on my bedroom floor worn out from screaming and crying I felt God whisper to the deep aches in my heart and soul. It was both comforting and convicting, but definitely something I needed to hear.
God Allows Suffering to Make Us Aware of our Sin
When things start going wrong in my life I usually start asking myself if there’s anything I did that put me in that situation. Often, if I take enough time to search my heart, I find that my sinful choices or desires have led me down a dangerous path.
I believe this is one reason God allows suffering. Sometimes the only way to get us to stop and take a good look at ourselves is to allow some hard things to come into our lives. God does not do this to make us feel bad about ourselves. He does this because He knows that in order for us to continue to grow spiritually, we need to repent and let go of sins that threaten to hold us back.
God Allows Suffering to Show Us We Can’t Do This Alone
I’m a big advocate of community, especially when times get tough. I can’t tell you the number of times I have needed my fellow sisters to hold me up when I couldn’t form the words to pray for myself.
So many times I found myself on the verge of giving up when a text or email gave me enough hope to get me through the rest of the day.
When things get tough it can be very tempting to isolate yourself. Resist that temptation. God made us to be in fellowship with each other. It makes us strong and keeps us in the fight. The moment things become more than you can bear, reach out to someone. Let them know you need prayer!
God Allows Suffering to Bring Us Closer to Him
Ultimately, I believe that God is after a deeper relationship with us. And He often uses hard times to get our attention. When things are going great we are not so quick to turn to Him. But when trials come, they often drive us to our knees in search of answers and comfort.
I believe that my little tantrum was exactly the moment God had been waiting for. When I was finally done trying to fix everything and done trying to make sense of the mess. In that moment, as I screamed at the heavens, I was finally ready to lay that burden down where it belonged… at the foot of the cross.
When we finally surrender the need for control and give it over to God, He gets to do what He does best. And that’s a great place to be. Safe in His arms.