If God is so loving, why all the suffering?
If God is so loving, why doesn’t he heal me?
This is such a big stumbling block for people, they reason if God is so powerful he should take away the suffering. Or maybe he isn’t that powerful after all?
I hear you. Suffering sucks. Not gonna lie, I hate it. And if we are suffering in a First World country, then how much worse is it for those that haven’t any food in their tummy’s, clothes on their private bits and roof over their heads? Then add to that the misery of seeing your children stolen, raped and tortured.
Yes that truly is a nightmare. I visited one of the poorest areas in The Philippines where people were scooped up by the garbage truck if they didn’t wake up in time and where parents offered strangers their children to raise. This was one of the saddest days in my life as I thought of my own suffering and then multiplied it by a factor of 100. Crushing.
What kind of God would make a world where people and animals suffered?
Initially, God made a world which was awesome! It was such a perfect world that DNA was flawless, animals never ate each other, humans didn’t die, and they even walked with God in his garden. No suffering existed. Yippee. But then humans screwed it up.
One thing God asked them not to do. Just one thing, and they did exact opposite. Reminds me of parenting a two year old. Anyway, Eve listened to the great pretender-the devil, and ate the fruit then gave some to Adam. They both tried to hide it from God, as if! That’s like my kid eating lashings of chocolate cake and denying it! It’s plastered all over her face.
So Adam and Eve got kicked out of the garden before they did any more damage! And now we have a world where sin is rampart and the devil is roaming around looking for prey to devour. He’s doing a pretty good job too. Damn it.
What’s the solution to this mess?
Because God’s Plan A was hijacked, he has come up with Plan B. That’s what we are living in now. Plan B is where God said to himself, “I’m gunna have to rescue them.” Well, I’m sure he doesn’t have an Aussie accent, but think Aussie lifesaver and you wouldn’t be far wrong.
Jesus the lifesaver came into the world and sorted out the sheep from the goats. He’s like an equaliser-coming to level out the playing field. To those who are meek, gentle, truth seekers, grieving, oppressed, merciful and humble – he lifts up! And they become blessed- because they recognise Jesus and hold onto him!
Never fear, Jesus isn’t exclusive, he also comes to those who are proud, arrogant, haughty and pretentious- and he levels them out to. Which means he brings them down. They get offended and walk off in a huff; as you would if you were told by a robe-wearing dude from Backwater District that you’re a viper and hypocrite.
And now we come to the crunch.
We watch that coffin sink into the ground – our loved one is swallowed up by the earth. And we think that is the end. That is the full stop. Nothing else left.
Death is just the beginning of eternity-heaven or hell. Death is a comma, not the full stop. There is more to come.
To say death is the end is like reading a good book; you’re half way through it, the good guy is getting beat up, but you put down the book and say, “I don’t like the ending”. Keep reading people, there’s more.
Heaven, a place of eternal happiness and without suffering, is God’s home. And if you’re his kid, you get to live there with him-forever. But if you’re not his kid, you can’t just waltz on in and make yourself at home. Would you like some random staying on indefinitely at your place uninvited? No, I don’t think so, wouldn’t be fair now, would it? But if you had a child, and he needed shelter and protection, you’d have him come in for sure!
Are you God’s child? Would you like to be God’s child? This doesn’t mean that you need to turn into a cardigan wearing, religious nazi. Far from it. I’m talking about a heart that seeks after truth, does right, loves mercy, and someone not offended by what Jesus teaches.
At the start I wrote that suffering is a stumbling block for people coming to God. Actually there is a verse that says for those that reject Jesus, “He is the stone that makes people stumble, the rock that makes them fall.” Best piece of advice I’ll ever give? Don’t. Be. That. Person.
Jesus is like a lifesaver- he wants to save you- he is throwing you a life line. Take the line. Hold on for dear life. There’s more to come.