‘God, Why Did You Allow This?’
RICARDO still remembers sitting with his wife, Maria, in the doctor’s waiting room. * Neither of them had the courage to read the results of Maria’s latest medical examinations. Then, Ricardo opened the envelope, and they hastily glanced over the medical language of the report. They spotted the word “cancer,” and both began to cry as they realized the full import of that word.
“The doctor was very kind,” recalls Ricardo, “but he obviously realized the gravity of the situation because he kept telling us that we had to trust in God.”
Before radiation treatment had begun, Maria’s doctor noticed involuntary movements in her right foot. Further tests revealed that the cancer had spread to her brain. After just one week of treatment, the radiation was suspended. Maria slipped into a coma and died two months later. “I was glad that her suffering had ended,” explains Ricardo, “but I missed her so much that I found myself wishing that my life would come to an end too. Often, I would cry out to God: ‘Why did you allow this to happen?’”
When Tragedy Strikes, Questions Abound
Like Ricardo, countless people throughout the world are forced to face up to the reality of suffering. Many times, it is the innocent who suffer. Think of the heartrending grief caused by the relentless armed conflicts that plague mankind. Or consider the pain felt by the numerous victims of rape, child abuse, domestic violence, and other evils committed by man. Throughout history there seems to have been no limit to the injustice and pain that men and women have been willing to inflict on one another. (Ecclesiastes 4:1-3) Then there is the anguish of victims of natural disasters or of emotional, mental, and physical illnesses. It is little wonder that many ask, “Why does God allow such suffering?”
Even for those with religious convictions, suffering is never easy to deal with. You too may wonder what reason a loving, all-powerful God could possibly have for permitting human suffering. Finding a satisfying and truthful answer to this puzzling question is vital for our peace of mind and our relationship with God. The Bible provides such an answer. Please consider what it has to say as presented in the following article.
^ par. 2 Names have been changed.
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The doctor kept telling us that we had to trust in God