Monday, January 10, 2011

why does God allow suffering?

i ask this question not because the speed demon crashed on the expressway & suffers severe head injury. neither because the guy ate like there's no tomorrow & now suffers a heart attack.

i ask because of a 11-year-old girl who is completely paralysed from an inoperable tumour in her spinal cord. she is totally ventilator-dependant in ICU & needs to be fed & cleaned. when she's awake, you can see the emotions she goes thru - the occasional smile & grin but mostly solemn & grim. she will most likely not recover, a few doctors have concurred.

my initial reaction was that it wasn't fair for an innocent child to go through such suffering with no cure in sight.

i am searching for answers myself.

but then, there are many things we do not understand until such time that God chooses to reveal to us (deut 29:29). it's certainly not because she or her parents had done anything wrong because Jesus Himself said those who died innocently were not more guilty than others who lived (luke 13:1-5).

i then realised that it all boils down to one fact: all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (rom 3:23) & the wages of sin is death (6:23).
& the stern warning to me is this :

"But unless you repent, you too will all perish."

but that doesn't stop me from feeling sorry for the girl & her family. somehow i must try to share the Good News even if it's obvious that they are staunch believers of other faiths.


Reanaclaire said...

It is difficult to find answers to some of these questions, doc.. many friends have asked me the same thing.. and all i can say is that this is a fallen world, sickness, tears, sadness is a package and unless we have our Lord in us, for us and with us, life can be very tough...
God will bless this child.. He said the the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to children such as these..

house-tai said...

Hi doc, I may have read your post the wrong way, but it seems to imply that the girl is destined to "perish" because she's not a believer.

How would your last paragraph be written if she and the family are Christians? Why does God allow suffering even for those who had repent and lead the Godly lives?

Yvonne Foong said...

That might make the girl feel judged and not like being there. In Buddhism, there is also the same explanation. Karma. They say it's all due to one's past life Karmas. We sow, and so shall we reap. I didn't like this explanation which was probably why I went to church. Come to think about it, Buddhism and Christianity are not very different. They just use different words to describe.

Unknown said...

That was exactly the reason (why god allows suffering) that i drifted apart from HIM for many many years.... i didn't like the idea of why this girl suffers and why that girls born in the rich family and having all things planned out for her,, why this girl raped and murdered and why that girl is so well protected...

Now i understand, that are things really that we don't have the answers is the faith that keeps us going,,,,,,

god bless

Anonymous said...

I feel so much for the child... But I'm immediately comforted by Reanaclaire's reminder : the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to children such as these..

God surely blesses the girl though in ways we don't understand. Surely He doesn't allow us to perish since the price has been paid on the cross.

Unknown said...

Well, for some of us that use the Westminster Shorter Catechism as doctrinal standards, Question 1 is:

Q. What is the chief end of man?
A. Man's chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him for ever.

Kind of gives us the answer. Whatever happened is to glorify God.

doc said...


even if we have the Lord in our lives, it will still be tough, if not more.

yes, the kingdom of heaven should belong to the innocent kids.

doc said...


i am searching for answers myself. my conclusion is that we will all perish because sin came into our lives. but the Lord promises eternal life even after life on earth has ended.

as for this girl's family, they believe in reincarnation but still, i will try to tell them the Good News. it's up to them to believe it or not, but i would have done my part as a christian.

i will perish one day, as will this girl, but i have hope of eternal life & i would like to see this girl & her family there, too.

if this were a christian family, i will pray with them & i am certain they will find much comfort in that - that the doctor looking after their daughter shares the same hope & faith as them.

all have sinned & have to pay the price of physical suffering & death, whether one leads a Godly life or not. a Christian believes life on earth is just a sojourn & many i know accept impending demise with much peace & solace.

thanks for your comments.

doc said...


reaping what we sow IS biblical! (Gal6:7) but that is not how i would approach this delicate issue. the girl needs support & compassion, not judgment.

whatever wrong we do, we will have to pay the consequences, even for christians. except that death is not the end of it but just a resting stage awaiting for the return of Christ.

if you take a neutral stand, Buddhism & Christianity are poles apart, other than teaching us to be good. Buddha never claimed to be God & that belief in his teachings assures eternal life.

doc said...


i agree. we do not have the answers to the worlds' problems. we share the simple faith: Jesus loves me, this i know.

God bless!

doc said...


i agree. we do not know what really goes on in this girl's life & i am certain God works in ways we do not comprehend.

doc said...

Keropok Man,

amen to that!

Jo said...

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. You are a great doctor, not just because of your skills, but for your humanity! This is God's blessing to this little girl and her family.

Unicorn Girl said...

miracles do happen . Sufferings happens for a reason - it either makes us a bitter person or a better person .

doc said...


all glory to His Name forever & ever!

doc said...


we await the miracle.