Why does God allow the innocent to suffer? It’s a question that gets asked over and over, by people from every nation, race and tongue. David Kyle Foster, a guest contributor to the Christian Post, recently published an article with his answer.This is it: “We suffer because men sinned and continue to sin. God isn’t to blame.” Suffering happens because God made a perfect world that Adam and Eve broke, long ago, and now there’s no escaping the consequences, especially since we continue to sin as badly as they did. God is good, and we are not.
So this is one answer, that God is perfect and humans are sinful.
As a thoughtful Christian, however, I also believe that there are other brave, faithful ways to ponder suffering and try to give it meaning. Sometimes we don’t need answers, sometimes we just need a framework to use for meditating on our suffering.
I have found one such meditate framework in the writings of Annie Dillard. Dillard, a Christian writer of the last few decades, published a book in 1984 titled Holy the Firm, in which she lays out her thoughts about God’s goodness, human suffering and the relationship of our suffering to chronological time.
You see, to Dillard, the dichotomy is not between God’s goodness and our imperfection, but between our location within time and space and God’s location outside of them.
Let me explain. As Christians, we believe in an eternal realm beyond our mortal sphere. We believe that this is where God resides, and also our eventual home. Simply put, we believe that true reality is not what we can see, hear, touch, taste and smell, but something intangible that we put our trust in; “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for, and certain of all we cannot see.”
This infinite realm is where God’s fullness resides, and we are on our way but not there yet. The Christian life, according to some understandings, is a process of learning to live “in the world but not of it,” doing our best while we are here but always remembering that this world is not our hope or our home.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Meredith Harbman