Five years ago, when I graduated from Bible College, I thought I at least somewhat understood why God allowed suffering. I thought he allowed it because we live in a fallen world. I thought he allowed it out of necessity. If he swooped in and controlled everything, that would, in essence, remove our freedom. And I thought he allowed it to teach us something. I NEVER thought he caused it.
I guess I based my understanding on this verse: "When tempted, no one should say, 'God is tempting me.' For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone. . . Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows" (James 1:13-17). I assumed that meant he never caused anything bad. He brought the happiness, not the sadness. Granted, he might allow pain into our lives, but it was never his plan. Never his desire.
Now, I'm not so sure. Because maybe what's bad in our eyes isn't so bad in his. After all, he has an eternal perspective. When my babies died and were taken away from me, I thought of it as though I'd never see them again. Yes, I believed in heaven. Yes, I believed I would someday be with them again. But to me, that someday felt so far away. To God (who sees the big picture), it's not really all that long.
So do I think God caused my babies to die? That's still a hard question for me. And I still tend to think he didn't. It's just too difficult for me to think of a loving God causing me this much pain. But it has got me thinking, if he did cause it, would I be able to forgive him?
If he did cause me to suffer (not just allow, but actually cause), would I still be faithful?