Here this week is author Kathryn Slattery! Her book, If I Could Ask God Anything, is a unique kid-friendly book jam-packed with clear, fresh answers to important questions about God, faith, prayer, and Christianity in language that children can understand. Kathryn has been so nice to answer some of the most popular questions for us right here on the blog! Today, she’s answering a big question!
How Can Anything Good Come Out of Pain and Suffering?
What a big question!
Everyone experiences pain and suffering in life. It’s part of being human. Like death, suffering is something that all human beings have in common. We know it must be important, because God Himself experienced pain and suffering on the cross.
God does not cause pain and suffering. But God can take pain and suffering and turn it into something beautiful and good. We see this in nature. Think of a pearl. A pearl starts as a bit of sand that gets trapped in an oyster. The sand scratches and irritates the oyster. The oyster reacts by covering the grain of sand with layer upon layer of a smooth protective coating. Over time, the grain of sand becomes a beautiful pearl!
Sometimes we can have a difficult person in our life. But when we cover the person with layer upon layer of love and prayers, we find that the person no longer irritates or troubles us. In fact, the person may become a beautiful friend!
God is able to create something beautiful from even the most terrible kind of pain and suffering. I have a friend whose father died suddenly. My friend fried and cried. How could anything good come out of something so sad? But years later, when my own dad died, my friend was the one person who understood the pain and sense of loss that I was going through. Out of the terrible sadness of losing her father, my friend had gained the beautiful gift of compassion. The word compassion means to suffer with. My friend’s compassion was like a little bit of heaven falling into my world of loss and sadness.
The best example of God turning evil into good is when He resurrected Jesus from the dead. Because Jesus rose from the dead and lives forever, so, too, will everyone who believes in Him!
God can take anything and turn it into something good.
Even pain and suffering.
Why does God do this?
Because God loves you (1 John 3:1).