When my mother and my sister were co-writing their 1985 book “A Special Kind of Parenting”, they interviewed numerous parents of disabled children. Many times these parents were visibly distraught to have their child afflicted, and often times they would ask “Why me?” or “Why my child?”. Many people have asked this question. The belief that a good and loving God could not allow suffering to exist is a common argument amongst atheists.
Sure, you can walk the streets of Bombay and see starving and diseased children who have not sinned. Where is their evil? Why does God allow these children to suffer so if God can do anything? The short answer is, we cannot know. We are finite humans, and compared to the infinite wisdom of God, it’s impossible for us to know the motives behind everything he does.
I read a good analogy for this in Lee Strobel’s “The Case for Faith” (which I highly recommend). In the first chapter, Strobel writes about an interview with philosopher Peter Kreeft. When the subject of God allowing pain and suffering was the topic, Kreeft said:
“Would you agree that the difference between us and God is greater than the difference between us and, say, a bear? … imagine a bear in a trap and a hunter who, out of sympathy, wants to liberate him. He tries to win the bear’s confidence, but he can’t do it, so he has to shoot the bear full of drugs. The bear, however, thinks this is an attack and that the hunter is trying to kill him. He doesn’t realize that this is being done out of compassion.
“Then, in order to get the bear out of the trap, the hunter has to push him further into the trap to release the tension on the spring. If the bear were semiconscious at that point, he would be even more convinced that the hunter was his enemy who was out to cause him suffering and pain. But the bear would be wrong. He reaches the incorrect conclusion because he is not a human being.
“Now, how can anyone be certain that’s not an analogy between us and God? I believe God does the same to us sometimes, and we can’t comprehend why any more than the bear can understand the motivations of the hunter. As the bear could have trusted the hunter, so can we trust God.”
(“The Case for Faith”, Strobel, p. 32)
Many people whether they are disabled or not, become bitter towards God because they do not understand their pain and suffering. How ironic though, because I feel these are the very people who need God the most in their lives, to help them through their day to day struggles. To abandon God in anger is a mistake. Sure, you can be angry at God. Lots of people do that.
I’m sure God doesn’t mind you being mad every once in a while. But to abandon Him, that’s a mistake. You can trust that God knows what’s best for you.