The way people respond in such difficult circumstances differs from one person to another. Some people's response is to question the existence of God and use the difficult circumstance as "proof" to conclude that God doesn't exist - if God truly exists, then why would he allow us to suffer?
Some respond with anger towards God and distance themselves from him, while others may even draw closer to God. As we battle through our emotions, the question we most often want answered is - why? Why the suffering?
One of the most painful experiences anyone could ever go through is the loss of a loved one. I lost my parents some years ago. No words could ever express the pain my family and I went through. It was a tough time and I miss them dearly. The one thing that I still find myself questioning is - why? Why did God allow this to happen? Was it something that I did or didn't do? Was there any way I could have prevented this from happening? Will God ever answer my questions and will I ever come to understand the reasoning?
I recently read a Discovery Series booklet published by RBC ministries entitled "Out of the Ashes - God's Presence in Job's pain" and it really spoke to me. The booklet talks about a man in the bible called Job, who feared God and shunned evil. Job faced a great trial when he lost his family, his property and even his health [Job 1- 3]. Job suffered immensely and he had many questions for God. What I find admirable about Job is that he still affirmed and had faith in God. He drew closer to God and even praised Him through his suffering [Job 1 verse 21].
I like what Bill Crowder goes on to state in this booklet. He writes: "Without explaining the mystery or reconciling the pain, God reminded Job that His power and wisdom were infinitely beyond Job's. The solution to suffering and the doubts it raises is not found in argument. It is found in learning to rest in God's grace and to trust in His power - even when the suffering is mysterious and overwhelming."
Will I ever get answers to my questions?
I may not fully understand the reasons for whatever struggles I go through, but I now find it comforting to know that God has a much bigger picture of my life and a better understanding of who I am. I should let God be God. He has profound wisdom. He is present even during those times when it may appear like he isn't and he understands the pain I may be going through.
He can use my sufferings to teach me, mould me into a better person and in turn to bless others. What I need to do is learn to trust Him and I will find rest in His abounding love, mercy and grace.
Kandima Awendila was born in Mozambique and lives and works as an IT Service Desk Engineer on the Gold Coast.
Kandi Awendila's archive of articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/kandima-awendila.html