When “the Sufferings of This Present Time” Seem More Than We Can Bear

sufferings of this present time

This world fills me with hurt and anger. My finite mind cannot grasp why the unspeakable happens, why God would allow so much pain to afflict His children, the very ones He formed in His own image. I can’t comprehend why life has to be so harsh, often to the most undeserving.

Why does a baby die in the womb after months of a mother’s love and care?

Why must a three-year-old face cancer?

How can a young mom with 4 little ones be diagnosed with a terminal illness?

Why does a father beat cancer only to find out he has it again and will soon succumb to it?

Why is my child twirling in her tutu while someone else’s is breathing his last breath?

How come a family loses its husband & father because he has bravely devoted his life to his country?

Yes, it’s a fallen world. Yes, Satan is the prince of this earth, and he’s got an agenda. And, yes, God is sovereign and has a perfect plan. I know. I get it. But, as a woman, as a human being who thinks and feels and aches for those who suffer, I don’t like it.

But do we have to like it? As Christians, do we have to be okay with the heartache, chalking it up to God’s providence? Or can we allow ourselves to be angry at God, to question Him, to yell and scream at Him for allowing this mess to happen? Or are we afraid God will be offended and angry at us? Do we fear that God will not be able to handle our demands?

As if.

This anger and these questions are nothing new. Surely Adam and Eve also railed against God, their friend with whom they walked in the garden and knew so intimately. Surely they too were filled with rage as they grieved the loss of their sons, one to death and the other to exile.

But God can handle our emotional outbursts. He can handle our umpteen million questions that we spew at Him until we’re blue in the face shaking our fists. He can handle our doubts about His goodness and His sovereignty as we contemplate the possibility that He might not have everything under control after all.

Why? Because He is El-Shaddai, God Almighty, All-Sufficient One, the One from whom all blessings flow, the source of our nourishment and life, our sustainer when nothing else in this world makes a lick of sense.

Yes, I want answers. I’m human. My flesh and mind are feeble. But as I grieve for those who are suffering and try unsuccessfully to comprehend why that has to be, I’m grateful that I have something, Some One to cling to. I’m not alone. You’re not alone. We have a heavenly Father who loves us so much that He sent His only Son to die for us, and the hope we have through Jesus, His Son, is eternal life — not in this sin-filled, disease-infested world — but in Heaven. With Him.

We will overcome this world. That promise is what keeps me going and brings me peace even in the midst of the unanswered questions and the evil and “the sufferings of this present time.”

 “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.”

Romans 8:18-21

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