Devotional | Why does God Allow Suffering?
"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." (2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV)
I was surprised to hear three of the main speakers in our recent Pastors and Leaders Conference speak on suffering, pain, and the question of “Why God?” in times of misery. Let me put it this way, it is not a usual topic in our culture of renewal, revival, the River of God and the joy of the Lord!
The speaker's topics actually hit close to home. At 18 months of age, our daughter Phoebe was given an immunization needle which contributed to a downward spiral of developmental delay, speech disruption and behavioural issues which still continue to this day at age 15. I have asked the “Why God?” question many times myself. One time, while feeling broken under the weight of a special needs child, the Lord in turn asked me some questions, "Will you love me anyway?" "Will you serve me anyway?" I got the point.
Was my love for the Lord dependent on His goodness? Was my faith deep enough to not understand and yet simply trust, and serve Him regardless of whether my daughter would ever be healed this side of heaven? Of course, I had to say yes (what other sane option is there?). Over the years I have seen blind eyes open, the deaf hear, the lame walk and many come to salvation. Yet, my own daughter is not yet healed.
Am I in resignation? Despair? No, not at all. My husband and I keep hoping. We stand believing one day she will testify on the stages of the world that God has healed her. I would much rather live a life of faith-filled expectation, believing for crazy things and get half of those things than believe for nothing and get all of it!
If I start to pour out my complaints to the Lord on a difficult day, He often takes me to the scripture above, in 2 Corinthians. So, I may wipe a tear and say another prayer for strength and wisdom, but then I go on loving and serving Him, knowing God is good and His faithfulness endures forever.
Why does God allow suffering? I really don't know. However, join me today in determining that whatever we face in this journey of life, it will make us better, not bitter.