How Can A Loving God Allow Suffering and Loss? Part 1

Have you ever lost someone very dear to your heart? Have you watched an unstoppable tragedy unfold that you had no power to undo?  Have these things happened to you,  in your life, or in the world and you looked for a reason, an answer, something to make sense of it, yet nothing satisfied you?  I have also experienced much pain, and seen loved ones suffer tremendously, watched local and global events unfold that buried all logic .  Many people have gotten sick, injured, or even died, without understanding or chance of restoration. The shock and anguish seemed like too much to bear, for too many  people, and I had only one question, burning in me, over and over, without quenching. “Why?”

Most of us are no strangers to grief in one form or another. We have either experienced or seen loss and suffering – often in ways that defy understanding. During such intense times, many of us question the supposed love of God. It seems unfathomable that a God who says He loves the whole world enough to die for it, would then turn and allow the ones we love to lose their health, or their very lives.  We begin to doubt, but no answers come  to appease us.  Our questions turn more violent, but nothing comes to calm the wild perplexity. Our pain seems to have no answer, no purpose, and no reason that we can find to justify it.  It is simply beyond our human comprehension that a Deity who says He is “Love” could allow suffering to this degree.  So, in this place, where our grief and suffering meld into anger at God, we scream at Him – give Him one more chance to speak, to prove Himself. Yet,  He is often strangely silent. It almost seems He is a sadist.  How could He permit such damage to innocent people?  How could He do this to me? Am I not worth more than this? I would not treat my worst enemy as He is treating me. I would not allow the world to experience the anguish He allows. And at this point, in our confusion and rage at God, we begin to retreat from Him, to turn towards other answers that make more sense to us, and seem to know the meaning of love.  It is better, I say, to take my own path, for surely, surely, I know a better way than God’s.  Often,  we begin to look for other definitions of Divinity, and power, for as we begin to look to mankind for answers, we see humans as the divinity wherein our answers are found.

Is this the place where our launch towards true happiness begins, or the place where the dive into a long, slow decline commences?

In the next post, we’ll explore this question, look at history and gather some information.