Why Is There Pain and Suffering?

Many of us face painful situations in life. Jason Malec examines why we experience these painful situations in our lives.

Questions for Discussion and Personal Reflection

  1. How might God use pain and suffering as part of his plan?
  2. How do our personal experiences affect our understanding of pain and suffering?

It's undeniable that the world is, um, definitely a messed up, broken place. To pretend like it's not, I think is ridiculous. So the question, "How can God somehow be responsible for or even allow these bad things to happen?" I think is a, it's reality. It's a hard, hard question, in fact, maybe the hardest question. The one way that I've, I've attempted to reconcile it is by, uh, remembering a story or an experience that I had. Years ago, my oldest daughter was, um, diagnosed with a, a lung, uh, uh, Iike disease, I guess. We didn't know what was wrong, doctors didn't know what was wrong, and, uh, the only way to determine was to take her into, uh, an MRI, you know, so a 9-week old, little child laying on a cold, you know, metal bed of sorts. Um, but they, they couldn't, the doctors couldn't get her to lie still enough to actually do the scan, and so, um they asked me to kind of go in and hold her, hold her arms down. And, um, you know, allow her to go through this scan, and it was it was a, an awful, awful time, and, um, I remember thinking to myself after, after that moment that, you know, she went through the scan successfully and now is a 12-year-old beautiful, beautiful girl so the story ended well. Not all do. But I, I do remember at that moment thinking this, this must be how God looks at us, right? Because Cassie, a 9-week-old, little baby was, was looking up at me saying, "Dad, what are you, what are you doing? Like, this hurts. Stop. I don't understand the pain that you're causing me." And I knew as, as her father that this, was this was something that she needed, right? That, that the pain that I was causing her was ultimately going to save her life, and the perspective that I have with something that she was totally incapable of having. Uh, extraordinary, I mean, awful experience and yet, I oftentimes wonder if that's how God interacts with us, right? He knows more and knows that what I need may be painful at times, and even though, um, I would desire for something else, my perspective is limited, much like Cassie's was.