Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Why God Lets Us Suffer

We live in difficult and perilous times.  I know that most of us have had a solid share of suffering, and I certainly have had my own trials in life.  I feel drawn today to address the idea of why God lets us suffer.  I think often we carry the misconception that God allows suffering because He is mean, angry, hates us, doesn't care, or that we have done something wrong.  My friends, that isn't the case. 

Some years ago I was traveling through some profoundly severe trials and doing everything I could to align my behavior with the commandments of the Lord.  I remember crying out in desperate prayer "I have been straight arrow all my life and am doing everything I can to follow Thee!  What else do I have to do to make this anguish go away?"  I will never forget the quiet answer I immediately received.  It was "Michelle, the point is not for you to be out of pain."  Immediately I stopped and considered this very new idea.  There was a greater point somewhere, and this pain was necessary to fulfill it.  I relaxed and let the pain wash over me, through me and fill me completely.  I wasn't fighting it anymore and I wasn't holding on to my own will.  I have seen miraculous things transpire because of this trial and subsequent troubles as well.  And every time life breaks my heart I brace myself and remember that there is a point to whatever the Lord has me suffer.

Most of the trials we have carry two purposes, an immediate one and an eternal one.  The immediate one is generally to harrow up our souls in order to allow greater light inside.  It may also have other purposes, like inducing us to say, do, and act in ways the Lord needs so that others may learn.  The eternal ones are the sculpting of our spirits and characters. 

One of the most poignant moments in suffering is when we feel that God has abandoned us.  I used to hate this feeling.  Now it makes me grin.  When we feel that emptiness inside and feel that His spirit has turned its back on us, I promise you that He is very conscious of you and of me and He allows us to feel that for a reason.  When that feeling overtakes me I look heavenward with a smile and think "I know Thou art still there.  Thou art just letting me feel this way for some reason or other, but Thou wilt be back soon enough." 

My friends, stay the course.  When life gets you down, stay the course.  When the jaws of hell stretch wide ready to receive you, stay the course.  The pain is not what ultimately matters. What ultimately matters is what we do with the trials we are given.    


  1. I appreciate all you have said here. You have helped me.

    1. Thank you. Then it was worth the labor. Loves!