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Where is God in suffering?

Where is God in suffering?

God in suffering? How does that work? A fair question. If we look around us we see a lot of misery and sorrow. Why does God allow this? A God of love, who as a father would take care of us? Sometimes that seems hard to reconcile. Many people experience God as cruel and ruthless. And why would you want to know more about such a God?

A question for you. What answer would be satisfying enough for you? Would there be a good answer to why children are drowning in the sea as they flee with their parents? When you are caught in an abusive situation? Or when you have to say goodbye to someone you love very much? There is no answer that will suddenly make up for the suffering in this world. 

We can get angry at God for why he doesn’t intervene. Why does he allow so much death and destruction? The question we must then ask ourselves in all honesty also: Is God the cause of our suffering? 

The fault of God

Where is God in suffering? Is it God’s fault that people are dying of starvation? That we get sick from a virus that goes around the world? Or is there a human responsibility in this as well? God did not make us humans as puppets. He does not pull our strings all day long. He leaves us free. Free to enjoy life, to get to know God better but also free to make our own choices. Even if they are stupid or wrong choices. Choices with great consequences for ourselves but also very often for others. Would you rather have a God who determines everything for you? That you are not allowed to decide anything yourself anymore? That God is responsible for everything you do? Or would you rather He let you go? 

I am

God once introduced himself with Yahweh – YHWH and that means I am. In all the suffering of the world, this is perhaps the most important thing God can offer. Being there. For you. Instead of blaming God for the terrible things people do, you can also ask yourself: Where is God in all this suffering? And there is a clear answer to that. He is with you. As a comrade in suffering. He gives you strength, courage, perseverance, patience and sometimes He helps you to let go. 

Listen to the song I will be there, sung by Kinga Ban. This song was written especially for her when she heard that she had metastatic breast cancer and would not get better. A special song about how God is present in suffering. 

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