Question: Why does God allow suffering? Doesn’t He care about us?
Answer: God certainly does care! It hurts Him to see us suffer as a result of our own wrong choices or the wrong choices and actions of others.
The Bible tells us, “As a father pities his children, so the Lord pities those who fear [reverence] Him. For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust.”1
“The eyes of the Lord are in every place.”1
This morning my husband Simon left suddenly to the USA, after receiving word that his elderly mother’s health had taken a turn for the worse. We couldn’t afford trans-Atlantic airfare for two, so here I am, home alone and already missing Simon.
I’ve been combating loneliness by keeping busy, and between catching up on housework and checking email, I came across a real-time “flight tracker” on the Internet. Since then I’ve gone back to that screen every couple of hours to follow Simon’s progress as his plane passed over the vast expanse of ocean, reached landfall, and is now making its way down the eastern coast of North America. Even though Simon has no idea I am “watching” in this way, knowing where he is at the moment gives me a curious sense of comfort.
You don’t have to understand God in order to love Him. In fact, no one can ever fully understand God. It’s impossible because, as He says, His ways are far above our own. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”1 Forget trying to figure out God! Just accept His love by faith.
The Lord is my shepherd.—That’s relationship.
I shall not want.—That’s supply.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures.—That’s rest.
He leads me beside the still waters.—That’s refreshment.
Itaipu Dam, on a stretch of the Paraná River that forms the boundary between Brazil and Paraguay, is the world’s largest operational hydroelectric power plant. In 1995, a decade after it opened, the U.S. magazine Popular Mechanics listed it as one of the seven wonders of the modern world. By 2000 it was generating over 90 billion kilowatt-hours of power each year, enough to supply 93% of the electrical power consumed by Paraguay’s 5.5 million people and 20% of that consumed by Brazil’s 184 million. That’s a lot of power! The river flowed there for thousands of years before the dam, of course, which means that the potential for all that power was also there, untapped, until someone set out to harness it.
We all accept the existence of electricity, even though no one has ever seen it or fully understands it, not even the scientists. We only know its laws, its effects, and how to channel it to serve many useful purposes. Even so, we must accept the existence of God even though we don’t know where He came from or who made Him or how He got here. We simply know that He does exist and that the universe in which we live is governed by laws He established.
Electricity makes all sorts of things possible, but it won’t do you any good until you flip the switch that connects you to the source. Just so, God’s power is there, waiting to make your life easier.
God has the whole world to think about, yet somehow He manages to keep everything under perfect control and ultimately going the direction He wants it to go. Everything is planned; everything is ordered in “decency and in order” (1 Corinthians 14:40), and nothing can happen without His will. Whatever happens is what ought to happen or what God allows to happen for a reason. Everything is in His hands and nothing happens without His will, especially to His children whom He loves and to whom He wants to be good.