After my six year old daughter died of leukemia I thought I wasn’t going to be able to live through the pain. And I wrestled with God. I screamed at Him. But deep down I knew that even if He had come Himself, and sat down beside me to explain to me why it had to happen, it wouldn’t have been enough. Not because God isn’t enough. He is everything. But instead, because there is no way my puny, human mind or my weak, broken heart would have been able to comprehend it.
“His ways are higher.” Isaiah 55:8-9
Eventually I had to find a way to make peace with the pain, and the following, an except from Devotions for the Brokenhearted, is what I came to understand:
Although our own pain is not always the result of our personal sin, sin, in a larger sense, is the reason pain and disease entered Eden. Sin entered the world and altered it so completely that struggle and suffering became a part of man’s everyday existence. (Genesis 3)
From Genesis 3 on, the Bible’s central message is redemption. It is about how God chose not to wipe us out. It is the story of how a holy God who cannot tolerate sin made a way for us to be sinless.
Had God chosen simply to remove all the pain, He would have had to remove all the sin and therefore obliterate all the sinners. He loves us too much to give us a painless world. Instead, for now, He allows sin and pain to exist to give us time to receive the sinless nature of His Son.
He promises us that if we receive the forgiveness He has provided through Christ we will someday know a sinless, painless world. That promise gives us hope as we muddle through the darkness, suffering and grief that comes with living. This life is not all there is. It is not “it”. This is just the journey. The journey to our home, a home without pain.