God’s Love in Suffering: Oxymoron or Divine Paradox?
“We also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope” (Romans 5:3-4).
In my latest Tyndale House Publishers release, Congo Dawn, the protagonist asks a question birthed from my own spiritual wrestling:
“I would give my own life to stop the pain I’ve seen. Little girls and boys being raped. Or forced into armies where they’re turned into killers. Families torn apart by war. Children dying for lack of a dollar’s worth of medicine. So am I more compassionate than the God who created all these people? How can an all-powerful God who claims to love humanity watch such unspeakable things, innocent people hurting and dying, bad guys winning, so much suffering, without reaching down and putting a stop to it?”
The answer comes with recognizing I am not more compassionate than my Creator. Any love I can possibly feel or show is a dim reflection of our heavenly Father’s love.
So if I begin with the recognition that God is truly love, that He loves us far more than we can love others, I must come to the same simple, yet profound realization to which Congo Dawn‘s main protagonist is ultimately drawn. The coexistence of a loving Creator with human suffering is no oxymoron, but a divine paradox those refined in the fires of adversity are best equipped to understand. Our heavenly Father really does know what He’s doing. His ultimate plans for our lives and all His creation will not be thwarted.
And in that realization is the basis for a faith that cannot be shaken however dark the night.
What value beyond our own comprehension might human suffering possibly hold that a loving Creator God permits so much of it in the lives of His children?
Award-winning novelist and journalist Jeanette Windle grew up in the Amazon’s guerrilla hot zones, has lived in six countries and traveled in more than thirty. Those experiences have birthed 16 fiction titles, including 2010 ECPA and Christy Award finalist Veiled Freedom and 2012 ECPA and Carol Award finalist Freedom’s Stand.