Why does God allow pain?

Tonight I watched “Love Comes Softly,” a Hallmark movie about a man and woman who get married because of their mutual need. The woman needs a husband to take care of her, (remember this movie is scripted in the wagon train days) and the man needs a mother for his daughter.

The husband is a Christian, and the woman, Marty, just isn’t sure about this God he worships. At one point in the movie, the barn burns down, which not only threatens the livestock, but also takes many of Marty’s possesions. Marty, asks her husband what he’s going to do and he says he’s going to pray and wait for God to give him direction. Marty blows up and asks him the ever present question, “Why do you pray to a God that allows this to happen? A God who allows my husband to die and your daughter to never know her real mother?” The question of “why, God?” or “how can you believe in a God who…..?” has, I’m sure, gone through the mind of most everyone who has ever considered the human condition.

What I love in this movie is the husband’s response. He grabs his wife’s hand and takes her up to the mountain top. He tells her (and I’m paraphrasing here) that he could be right by the side of his daughter and that wouldn’t stop her from falling down. But, he would always pick her up and carry her to safety, he would always cry with her when she is in pain, and he would rejoice with her when she is healed. “The miracle of God”, he says, “is not that God doesn’t stop bad things from happening, but that He walks with us when they do.” I love that explanation.

We all walk through bad times. The question that I heard my friend, Lindsay Willis, pose the other day is this, “during the bad times are we going to walk towards God, or are we going to walk away from Him?” Experience has taught me that it’s always better to walk towards Him. I love that He carries me when I am weak, holds me when I’m scared and cries with me when I hurt. And the crazy thing is, when I get through the pain, I am always stronger and closer to God.

2 comments on “Why does God allow pain?

  1. Jackie

    That movie is based on a great book by Jeannette Oakes. Great series! I wish I would have known that show was on. It would have been a great show to watch!

  2. Scott Ed

    In the SPU section of iTunes U there is an N.T. Wright lecture entitled “God, the Tsunami, and 9/11: The New Problem of Evil”

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