How can God allow evil?

We wonder sometimes why God allows evil, and the theologians promise us it is for a greater good.  But I always wondered how God feels when He allows that evil thing into the life of  His beloved child, even though it indeed results in greater and deeper good.  He reminds me of two episodes in my own life that reveal a parent’s heart.

When my son was seven, a specialist told us that without surgery, he would most likely lose much of his hearing.  Yet upon teling our son this news, he became terribly upset and asked me the piercing question “You can’t let them hurt me.  Don’t you love me?”  Years later another medical procedure, this time on an infant granddaughter, had me in tears in the hallway.  Each time the child’s pain and terror was for the greater good: preservation of hearing in the one case and possible preservation of life in the other.  The greater good for these children still broke my heart, as I identified with their suffering.  Might not God feel the same way?  He does.

History records that when His friend Lazarus died, Jesus wept.  (Its the shortest sentence in the bible–Jesus wept).  Jesus wasn’t weeping for his own loss.  He had already told his disciples they would see a miracle that day.  He knew He would shortly raise Lazarus from the dead.  No, He wept at the distress of Lazarus’ two sisters, Martha and Mary.  Their sorrow broke Jesus’ heart.  He knows, He cares, He identifies with us in suffering, He loves us, and ultimately He makes it up to us.

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