I have been suffering from bronchitis and then pneumonia over the last few weeks. It has been a lot of coughing, fever, productive coughs, sore ribs, etc. I've been on two different antibiotics, two different inhalers, three trips to the doctor and deep, deep depression. I began to ask myself a question I truly do not ask frequently: Why do I believe in a God who allows suffering? I am a Christian and believe that suffering comes from a couple of different reasons. This may be a failure to take care of myself physically, emotionally, spiritually or mentally. In other words, it can be laid at our own feet. Other times we suffer due to forces outside ourselves that are not our fault. These reasons vary.
My daughter Erin shared with me a pamphet called Reasons to Beleive in a God who Allows Suffering. I want to list the reasons to believe from this little pamphlet from RBC Ministries. I will list them without comment to allow you to meditate on each one from your own perspective:
1) Suffering comes with the freedom to choose
2) Pain can warn us of danger
3) Suffering reveals what is in our hearts
4) Suffering takes us to the edge of eternity
5) Pain loosens our grip on this life
6) Suffering provides opportunity to trust God
7) God empathizes with us in our suffering
8) God's comfort is greater than our suffering
9) In times of suffering we find one another for support
10) God can turn suffering around for our good.
I hope some of these resonate with you as they have with me. While I may not buy the whole list, I find several that speak to me and call me forward to be a better person and to live authentically, acording to my faith.
Typos and all ... God Bless You