Why does God allow suffering?
That was a big question I struggled with for the longest time. Specifically, how could God bear to see His children being born with birth defects?
How was any of this fair? How could they still glorify Him broken spiritually and physically?
When I was in Polytechnic, I led a school camp in collaboration with Down Syndrome Association (Singapore).
Even today I can still remember seeing the youths walk towards me as they alighted from the bus. Watching from a distance, I began to tear uncontrollably.
With a tight knot in my heart, I asked God: “Why? Why Down Syndrome? Why them?”
As a new Christian, I couldn’t figure out an answer. So I struggled with these thoughts for nearly a year. I was tormented by them and deeply affected.
Jesus was interested in how one can best glorify God with the cards he’s been dealt.
And then a thought crept into my mind, “What if God wants me to give birth to a Down Syndrome child?”
Foolishly, I thought of either breaking up with my boyfriend or getting married and not having kids. I was terrified of that possibility … I wanted to escape.
Though I was plagued by doubts and fears, I eventually found peace as I sought God.
“As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.” (John 9:1-2)
The disciples were focused on the sin. They wanted to know whose sin was responsible for the man’s disability: The man or his parents.
But Jesus wasn’t interested in the blame game. He took the guilt off the son and his parents and looked forward instead. Jesus was interested in how one can best glorify God with the cards he’s been dealt.
Everyone can glorify God. There is nothing able to stop us from giving God glory. After all, we were created for His glory (Isaiah 43:7)
So physical or mental disability does not mean one is able to give God less glory. We serve a God who works in mysterious and creative ways. He moves powerfully in our lives and we are made strong in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:10) through Him who strengthens us in every way.
Regardless of our advantages and disadvantages, our purpose on earth has never changed. We are meant to glorify God. But we fear because we are tempted to think that God has lost control.
He could possibly stop it – why didn’t He?
We need the faith and humility to accept that we only have finite understanding and knowledge. We don’t and won’t have the answers to all the questions in the world.
““For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.”” (Isaiah 55:8)
2013 was a difficult year. I spent it questioning God; suffering. Like he did with Eve, Satan planted seeds of doubt in my mind to make me think twice about God’s goodness and love.
But He is Lord over all. And in all things, God works for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28).
We see so very little with our human eyes, but He sees things we don’t. He looks beyond our appearances, disabilities and most crucially – our sin. All because of Jesus.
God cares for every child He’s chosen (1 Thessalonians 1:4).
He alone shows me what it means to love unconditionally. Jesus’ death was the exact representation of God’s love for mankind – the highest standard of love. His love surpasses all understanding. We are unable to love apart from Him (1 John 4:19).
Let us fix our eyes on God and be fully assured that we can trust in His plans. He has never once failed to keep His promises, He is a faithful God – a loving Father from Genesis to Revelation.