God Is a Loving God

If God Is a Loving God, Why Is There So Much Pain in This Life?

Rhonda RobinsonBy Rhonda Robinson4 Minutes

Years ago, I watched my grandson starve. The terror in that newborn’s eyes still haunts me over two decades later. All I could do was watch and pray as his parents paced back and forth in a hospital room. Each one taking turns, trying desperately to comfort him. There was no fixing it. His cries of pain echoed throughout the hall corridors. His panicked gaze locked into his young parent’s heartbroken eyes. They held him as tight as life itself. If God is a loving God, it’s easy to think, this boy should not have to endure this much pain in his young life. Yet, it was the highest love that inflicted the most pain.

This sweet chubby baby boy was born healthy. Then, in just a few weeks time, he developed Pyloric Stenosis, a rare life-threatening condition that afflicts babies from newborn to six months old. It’s characterized by projectile vomiting, which, left unattended leads to dehydration. The only recourse was surgery. However before surgery, he could not nurse or have a bottle for 24 hours. After days of vomiting, his hunger and pain was visible.

His parents knew that to give into his cries would mean more suffering and even his death. As parents who deeply loved their child, they held him tight, and helped him endure the pain, so that he could live.

What kind of love, does God have for us?

The love of a good parent.

Our human nature wants no suffering, especially for our children. No one wants suffering. Especially not a good parent. But do we really understand what love is?

God is the author of love. Real love. Jesus taught us what that looks like.

This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:12-13)

When Christ died on the cross for your sins and mine, he suffered. He suffered greatly. Beyond what either of us can comprehend. He did so willingly. That was love. He suffered so that we would not have to endure the punishment for our sins. He denied Himself for us.

Contrast that image with what is an all too common parenting belief. Parenting has become more self-indulgent than self-sacrificial. We tend to give in to the wants, desires, and whims of children. We falsely believe that the duty of love is to make them happy. In reality, making them happy has little to do with love.

We misunderstand God’s love when we misunderstand parental love.

There is evil and sickness in the world we live in. God is the good parent, He is the loving father that holds us tight when we hurt and wipes our tears. In spite of our cries of injustice and anger at our circumstances, He loves us enough to endure our cries and provide life for us.

Just as my infant grandson looked at his parents with pleas to ease his suffering, we too ask that of God. Unlike an infant, we have the ability to trust that God, no matter what suffering hits us in life, will hold us through it to bring life.

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