why does god allow bad things to happen to babies
This is a very difficult topic indeed. The underlying theme is, "how can a good God allow the suffering of children? "
Ten years ago, my eldest daughter was born with a genetic defect that severely impacted her cognitive abilities. To this day, her mind is perhaps at the maturity of a two year old. Kaitlyn was born with Holoprosencephaly, an extremely rare medical condition that joined her left and right brain at the wrong place. When my wife and I first learned about this, it completely broke our hearts. We could not comprehend why this happened to us. We were not saints, but we never cheated, stolen or killed anyone. We were "good" people. But far more than that, why would God punish our daughter? She had absolutely nothing to do with our sins. She was punished by virtue of association - she was our daughter. Nothing more. We sank into despair and I renounced God. There is no God. If there was such a God that allowed evil and suffering, I wanted no part of Him. That was ten years ago. To cut the story short, since then, God has slowly worked His way into our lives. Bit by bit, our hearts were won over, and we witnessed an amazing restoration in love, peace, joy, acceptance, renewal and completion. God is so good. This topic is likely better served outside of a short eBible answer, for a webpage does not do justice to capturing God's intention and love for your friend. But I shall attempt to provide what little insight I have in my personal journey and restoration. First, recognize that we truly live in a fallen world. This means bad things can happen to good people, and good things can happen to bad people. When we (humankind) broke away from God and went our separate way, we choose a path without God. And where God isn't, suffering and evil prevails. Second, recognize that all pain and suffering is not in vain. It is not pointless. Just because we cannot understand why something bad is allowed to happen does not mean there is not a good reason.
The story of Joseph in Genesis greatly underscore this. Joseph was hated by his brothers by virtue of his mother, Rachel. His step-brothers were from Leah, Jacob's first wife. They imprisoned him in a pit, and sold him to slavery. After years of bondage and misery, Joseph was molded by God to become the "Prime Minister" of Egypt. In the end, he saved his family and his people from starvation and fulfilled God's promise to Abraham for the creation of the Israel nation. My wife and I didn't know God. While I was "born" into a Christian family I never truly "knew" Him. When we committed our lives to Him a few years ago, our entire family of five got saved. Had God not allowed Kaitlyn to "happen", eBible would not have been created (I am one of its founders) and you and I would not be having this "discussion" today. But now I count myself blessed that my three kids, my wife and I will all be together for eternity. Our entire family is now saved, as Joseph had saved his family. In 2 Corinthians 12, the Apostle Paul speaks of a "thorn" in his flesh. Three times he begged God to remove it. Three times the Lord denied him. God's answer:
2 Corinthians 12:9
"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. "
I did not understand it then. I thought Kaitlyn's suffering was pointless. But today I understand that God's grace was with me the whole time. Grace means "unmerited favor". God did me a favor by allowing Kaitlyn to suffer. In other words, some day, when I'm in heaven, and I talk to God, I will look back and completely agree with Him that what happened to Kaitlyn was the best possible thing to happen to us, that the result was so glorious, so restorative, so rewarding that it is worth far more than any suffering, sacrifice or pain we had to endure.
Let me end with this. Is suffering one of many tools that God uses for His glory? It would be hypocritical if God didn't allow it to happen to Himself. He did. Jesus Christ, Son of God, came down on earth, and suffered humiliation, torture, anguish, pain, suffering, and DIED for us. He went to hell and was risen on the 3rd day, for all of us. God would never do to us what He would not do to Himself. Tell your friend to believe that God has a greater purpose for Him. That out of the ashes of pain and destruction, will come restoration, glory, love and abundance. Jesus was with him, is with him, and will always be with him. His suffering is not pointless. There is justice. There is victory. But only if we choose to let God carry us through.
MANILA, Philippines Б A little girl threw Pope Francis tough questions when the Holy Father met with young people at the University of Santo Tomas Sunday morning. Glyzelle Iris Palomar, 12, spoke to the pontiff and told him of the plight of Filipino children. БMarami na po ang mga batang pinabayaan ng kanilang mga magulang,Б began Palomar, a resident at the Tulay ng Kabataan Foundation, a home for rescued children. (Many children have been abandoned by their parents. ) She continued: БMarami sa kanila ang naging biktima at masama ang nangyari, tulad ng droga o prostitusyon. Б (Many of them have fallen victims to evil things, like drugs and prostitution. Б Looking at the Holy Father, the girl then asked: БBakit po pumapayag ang Diyos na may ganitong nangyayari? Б (Why does God allow such things to happen? ) She stopped, closed her eyes and burst into tears. БAt bakit konti lang ang tumutulong sa amin? Б she concluded. (And why are there only a few people who help us? ) The Pope stood up and met the girl halfway on the stage. Palomar wrapped her arms around the Holy Father and buried her face into his side.
Moved by PalomarБs words and her weeping, the Pope diverged from his prepared speech and responded from his heart: Speaking to his young audience in Spanish with the help of a priest-translator. БWhy do children suffer so much? Why do children suffer? Б the Pope asked in return. БWhen the heart is unable to answer itself and cry, then we can understand,Б he said. The pontiff then called on the youth to learn how to weep. БI invite each one of you here to ask yourselves, have I learned how to weep, how to cry? Have I learned to weep for somebody who has left to one side? Have I learned to weep for someone who has a drug problem? Have I learned to weep for someone who suffered abuse? Б БThis is the first thing IБd like to say: LetБs learn how to weepБLet us learn, really learn how to weep, how to cry,Б the Pope further said. Even Jesus, he said, cried for his dead friend and for a family, who lost a child. БIf you don t learn how to cry, you can t be good Christians. This is a challenge, б б the Pope said. Aside from learning how to weep,б б the pontiff also called on the youth to learn how to love. Aside from learning how to weep, the pontiff posed another challenge to the youth and that is the challenge of love. You might ask me, Father, how do we become saints? It is another challenge. It is the challenge of love, which is the most important subject you have to learn in the university,Б he said. БWhat is the most important lesson you have to learn in life? To learn how to love. And this is the challenge that life offers you, to learn how to love. Б Real love, he said, is about Бloving and letting yourself be loved. Б БLet yourself be loved, the Pope added. The Pope also reminded the youth about the Бthree languagesБ to think well, to feel well, and to do well. Originally posted as of 11:00 AM, January 18, 2015
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