Why do we suffer?

December 16, 2014 at 8:24 am

I read not long ago that blogs by authors should steer clear of comments on social issues. I was going to write about something frivolous this morning, but I find that’s impossible.

I live in Brisbane, the capital city of Queensland, Australia. Yesterday in Sydney, the next closest capital city, a man took several men and women hostage in a cafe. I was watching the drama unfold yesterday, praying desperately that everyone would get out unscathed … physically, at least.

Tragically, overnight two hostages and the gunman were killed. I have to admit, this result made me feel guilty about writing my current manuscript, which deals with a similar situation. It has also brought many questions to my mind.

Why do things like this happen?

I am a Christian and believe in a God who is involved in the world and who cares about its inhabitants. However, the most difficult part of the Christian faith for most people is why God allows things like this to happen. There are no easy answers. I could make a glib comment about something good coming from this, and I believe that’s possible, but that doesn’t negate the fact that people have been killed and some families will not have a loved one with them this Christmas. Not only that, the victims who escaped will be scarred for life and it may take them years to even get a semblance of their life back. It’s difficult to think of a good that outweighs that.

As I believe that God is a presence for good in our world, not evil, I do believe that the ultimate good from all this suffering will outweigh the bad. Sometimes it’s a struggle to believe it, but my trust in him means that I do. It never makes this kind of event easy to deal with, though, and I will continue to pray for the families who have lost loved ones and have suffered in other ways as a result of this.

Do you believe in God? How do you deal with the question of suffering? Let me know what you think.

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