I can’t tell you how many times I hear people say that their biggest problem with God is that he lets bad things (things like abuse and cancer and war) happen to the innocent; to children.
I’ve thought and prayed about this a lot and I hope that the some of my thoughts on this help some of you.
I quoted a passage from 1 John 1:5 in Monday’s blog that “God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.” I want you to really think about that for a moment. God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.
When God created man, He loved him so much that He gave him dominion over the earth. He put him in the garden of Eden – in Paradise and He gave man the most important gift He could – free will. Free will. And it was from that first man and woman exercising their free will, in choosing to disobey God and eat from the tree of knowledge that sin and pain and suffering and death were introduced. So lets think on that. God didn’t introduce pain and suffering and death…man did because he disobeyed God. Because he was tempted by Satan.
People are always so afraid to mention that as much as there is a force for good in this universe – GOD, there is also a force for evil – Satan. In John 8:44 Jesus says the following about the devil.
“He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
Those are some powerful words. He was a murderer from the beginning. I think that the devil wants us to suffer and he especially wants us to blame God. Anything that he can do to destroy the relationship that God intended to have with mankind is a win for him. He lies to us and tries to convince us that if God is so good, bad things wouldn’t happen. Except that I think that is part of the lie that he wants us to believe, that bad things come from God. Remember, Jesus called him the father of lies. “God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.” Can you really believe that a God so full of love and light wants children to suffer and die?
But God also gave us free will. He absolutely will not usurp that. If we lose our free will, our ability to freely choose God, then we are nothing more than slaves. Our pain and suffering is the consequence of our sinful nature, of the original sin.
Now, I don’t want anyone to think that I believe a child deserves to suffer. I have absolutely yelled at, and pulled away from God over the suffering of my own children at times. But I have also learned that God has the incredible ability to take something truly horrible and make it a blessing. God can’t subvert our free will by fixing this world we live in, this world we have created by exercising our free will, but he can make wrong things right if we turn to him, if we lean on him. If we trust in him.
I can’t imagine the heartbreak that comes from losing a child, but I certainly know the heartbreak of parenting a broken one, and I believe with all of my heart that they are welcomed into God’s kingdom. That while we suffer here from their passing, they are in the arms of a loving Father. God is good. Don’t let darkness and anger keep you from having the relationship you were meant to have with God.
4 thoughts on “Suffer the Children.”
This is a key reason I struggle with faith. I fail to understand how, for one as forgiving as God, we are still paying for the original sin. He seems to forgive ANYTHING but that. I would not punish my second child for the actions of my first – they are totally different people.
Do you have any insights into why we can’t get past Original Sin?
I don’t think it’s that we are being punished for the original sin. It’s more like when your child breaks your favorite coffee mug. Of course you forgive him for doing that, but you can’t bring back the coffee mug. Forgiveness is different than erasing something. God won’t take away our free will so we live with the consequences of us expressing our free will as much as everyone around us. He can’t change the choice Adam and Eve made, but he can come down to earth in flesh, he can give us Jesus, his only son to remove that stain. To give us the chance to live free from the burden of sin. Does that make sense/help?
Hey Meredith, I have had the pleasure of meeting you and David a few times at cons in Alberta (Its quite amazing that people like myself adore the art you both create) David was kind enough to doodle a little wonder woman for my daughter Olivia which she cherishes 🙂 so when you started this blog, I was curious. To share freely, cancer claimed my 5 year old daughter 5 years ago. Every day is as fresh as the first and it is exceedingly difficult to pretend to be happy when you are completely shattered inside – it comes and goes like the tide. With my youngest daughter Olivia (who is 6 now) we consistently talk about Peyton with her and we know she is with god – just because she is in heaven does not mean she is not with us.. That said, I have and continue to struggle. I understand that God and Jesus are kind forces of light and I appreciate the words you wrote about Lies – that helps with a different perspective.- Since we lost Peyton I have not had a conversation with god – it feels as if I am estranged – because of some of the points you have made. I dont understand how a force of light could shatter my family, take a daughter and a sister without a fight. – or lose the fight…. I also understand that I am a child and god has a plan even if I dont understand what it is. It is a struggle and your post was quite timely 🙂 Thank you for sharing a different perspective and giving this dad something to ponder. (sorry for the wall of text haha) Wishing your family all the best!
Thank you so much for sharing your story with me. I can’t even begin to image the pain you and your wife went and continue to go through. While I haven’t lost a child, sometimes it feels that way having a child with serious special needs. I look at teenagers his age and see what might have been and it hurts my heart. But I also try to remember that he is touching so many people that he wouldn’t have touched if he was “typical”. Having him taught me grace, and humility, and ultimately put me on this path. I believe God will be ready when you are. He is infinitely patient and he is ready to carry our burdens when we are ready to give them to him. I hope it’s okay if I pray for you and your family today. I’m putting links to two songs here as well. I find music can often be the bridge to help me make the connection with God when I’m struggling. The first song is called Help Me Find It. – it’s about feeling lost and not knowing where to go. The second song is called Trust in Jesus. It’s about finding comfort.