Who is behind suffering?
"The Lord said to him,
'Who gave man his mouth?
Who makes him deaf or mute?
Who gives him sight or makes him blind?
Is it not I, the Lord?'"
Does God cause blindness or does He allow it?
Does He plan for a person to be born deaf or does He permit it?
In short, does God want disease?
The key here is how we use the word "want."
God doesn't want disease to exist in the sense that He enjoys it. He hates disease just as He hates all the other results of sin -- death, guilt, and sorrow, for example.
But God must want disease to exist in the sense that He wills or chooses for it to exist, for if He didn't He would wipe it out immediately.
God chooses to allow sickness for many reasons. One of those reasons is to mold Christian character. In this way God uses one form of evil, that is, sickness, to help remove another form of evil -- personal sin.
But most important, God is delaying closing the curtain on suffering until more of the world can have the chance to hear the Gospel. For if God erased all disease today, He would also have to erase sin, the general cause of disease, and that would mean the destruction of all people. It is God's mercy that delays His judgment!
"Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love. For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to the children of men”
Does God ordain? Permit? Plan? Allow? The verb is not so much the important thing as the noun: God. And God is love.
Your ways are higher than mine, Lord, and Your thoughts are unsearchable.
I praise You that one day You will give us the key that will unlock sense out of seemingly senseless suffering.
Joni and Friends
Taken from Diamonds in the Dust, February 5
Copyright © 1993
By Joni Eareckson Tada