In a dialogue with a friend suffering from illness, we were discussing why it seems God allows bad things to happen. I was thinking today about part of that conversation and my friend said this: “The greater conflict I find, however is that of God’s allowance of these things. God is all powerful and thus, could control everything. Since He doesn’t, it infers the He allows things to happen.”
Almost everyone has asked (at some point in their lives), “why are You letting this happen to me, Lord?” I know I certainly have. I never get answers to that question and I’m sure you haven’t either.
When we ask the question, “why is God allowing this or that?” behind or underneath that question what we really mean is, “God I don’t deserve to be treated this way”…and underneath that statement is, “I deserve to be treated in such and such a way.” Wow, when I saw that root all I could think of was my own pride. Even in our suffering we can have pride simply because we’re human and it’s in our nature. When I stop to think of it, what we all “really” deserve is punishment for our wrong doing/sin. However, because of what Jesus did for us on the cross we get what we did not deserve – everlasting life! Jesus got what we all deserved – punishment for our sin and death but He rose victorious over both sin and death!
Now all that said, it’s never what we want to hear when we’re suffering, at least not me. All I want is to be healed and I don’t care about anything else, not really if I’m honest. God is not out to beat us on the head with truth. However seeing the root of the question re-adjusted my thinking of “why are You allowing all these things Lord” when God is never behind suffering! Even in the book of Job it wasn’t God making Job suffer, it was Satan. God is the author of healing and blessing. Anything else is from our own mistakes or from the enemy, and really it’s all from the enemy when you stop to think about it. Proverbs 19:3 says, “There are some people who ruin their own lives and then blame it all on God.” Satan tempted Adam and Eve and the rest is history. Adam even blamed God – “the woman You gave me…” God is never allowing suffering – it’s a byproduct of living in a sinful world. The real truth is that He is more aware of our suffering than we are, and He is longing to help us! If He controlled everything in this world then none of us would ever have free choice. He took the risk to create us with free choice knowing some would chose against Him. I believe God can ultimately use our sufferings to focus our attention on Him rather than on ourselves. I’ve experienced that first hand. Oh sure, like you, I’ve had years of being angry at God for what I was going through and asked all the same questions with my fist shaking at Him!
I’ve given up trying to find the reason for struggles with illness. I realized that if I found the reason then I’d be able to fix it (not so in reality) honestly thinking “then I wouldn’t need God.” When I read the gospels, Jesus never tried to find the reason anyone was sick or possessed by a demon – no – He just healed and did not need any reason first as a prerequisite to healing. God’s the only one who knows the reason. Even if a sickness were our fault, He took all that on the cross so it’s covered! It took a long time for me to get that through my thick head. I spent way too much time blaming myself and trying to repent of this or that thinking if I got rid of weakness, faults or sin, “then” I’d be healed. I read something that connected this question to your thoughts about God allowing…”Stop trying to make it happen (what we’re praying for) or perform in such a way that makes you think you now deserve it (the answer to your prayer).” Only by His grace is healing even possible. Only the devil wants us to keep trying hard and that only leads to a terrible cycle of defeat and despair.
So perhaps if we stop asking “why Lord?” and just keep on looking at the healer Himself, our healing will show up at just the right time.