Why Does God Allow Hurt?
Have you ever sat by and listened to a friend pout our their heart about the hurt they’ve endured and listen to them question why God would allow this? I’ve been blessed to have hurt in my life but minimal hurt – the kind you can easily chalk up to God building your character and strengthening your faith. Other Christians have had their faith rocked by hurt and Max Lucado does a great job of explaining where God is during this time in his book “Come Thirsty.” Check out the excerpt below:
Some find the thought impossible to accept. One dear woman did. After I shared these ideas in a public setting she asked to speak with me. Husband at her side, she related the story of her horrible childhood. First abused, then abandoned by her father. Unimaginable and undeserved hurt scar her early memories. Through tear-filled eyes she asked, “do you mean to tell me God was watching the whole time?”
The question vibrated in the room. I shifted in my chair and answered, “yes, he was. I don’t know why he allowed your hurt, but I do know this. He loves you and hurts with you.” She didn’t’ like the answer. But dare we say anything else? Dare we suggest that God dozed off? Abandoned his post? That heaven sees but can’t act? That our father is kind but not strong, or strong but doesn’t care?
I wish she could have spoken to Joseph. His brothers abused him, selling him into slavery. Was God watching? Yes. And our sovereign God used their rebellious hearts to save a nation from famine and the family of the Messiah from extinction. As Joseph told them, “God turned into good what you meant for evil” (Gen 50:20).
I wish she could have spoken to Lazarus. He grew deathly ill. When Jesus heard the news, he did nothing. Jesus waited until Lazarus was four-days dead in the grave. Why? “For the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it” (John 11:4).
Best of all would have been a conversation with Jesus himself. He begged God for a different itinerary: a crossless death. From Gethsemane’s garden Christ pleaded for a plan B. Redemption with no nails. “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. YesI want your will, not mine.’ Then an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him” (Luke 22:42-43).
Did God hear the prayer of his Son? Enough to send an angel. Did God spare his son from death? No. The glory of God outranked the comfort of Christ. So Christ suffered, and God’s grace was displayed and deployed.
Are you called to endure a Gethsemane season? Have you “been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for his sake” (Phil 1:29 NSV)?
If so, then come thirsty and drink deeply from his lordship. He authors all itineraries. He knows what is best. No struggle will come your way apart from his purpose, presence, and permission. What encouragement this brings! You are never the victim of nature of the prey of fate. Chance is eliminated. You are more than a weather vane whipped about by the winds of fortune. Would God truly abandon you to the whims of drug-crazed thieves, greedy corporate raiders or evil leaders? Perish the thought!