Sometimes I wonder why God makes us go through a life full of sufferings or pain. Let’s just keep aside the day-to-day troubles that every person goes through. There are other serious cases of extremities. I don’t think I have to tell you the number of people of people who are subject to tougher times or hardships. For some it maybe extreme poverty, sometimes starvation, maybe a disability or either a suffering from immense pain, and this list is just endless. There are people out there who struggle every second of their lives for a moment’s peace. They wake up each day knowing it’s a bloody battle they have to fight and there is no escape from that. There are people out there who have never experienced how it feels to be happy. They yearn for a moment when their suffering would end.
Ever thought why they’d have to go through this in the first place? Everybody knows and has been taught from childhood that God is all-knowing (omniscient). We all were made to believe that God knows everything that will happen to us even before we were born. Seriously, if He knew all the extremities of hardships people would suffer, couldn’t He have just stopped this from happening?
When I was a child and sometimes even now, a question still keeps me pondering. Let me first give you an idea of the situation. Talking in terms of Christianity, it is believed that sin came into existence through an act of a woman who, tempted by a snake, ate an apple from the Forbidden Tree, thereby obtaining us a reward for a lifetime, by being thrown out of the ever Heavenly Paradise. Through that one woman came the entire existence of wrong and evil doings. So my question here is, “If God already knew what was about to happen and the evils that would enter the universe through that one woman, why did He create her?”
Mmmm…. That’s not so much of a solution to the problem is it? He had to create the other half for the man, which means the existence of a woman was necessary. So that rules out God’s plan to not create a woman. (Hey!!! How can He even thing of not creating such wonderful creatures. In the end we sure are the ultimate source of the next generation. Frankly speaking the world couldn’t do without us.)
Now since that idea rules out, here’s another question, “Why didn’t the all-knowing God prevent the woman, in spite of knowing she’d eat the apple and the consequence that would follow?” The answer to this is very simple. He gave us humans a thing called “Free Will”.
There actually does exist something called Free will, which means the freedom of making choices. True enough God has given each one of us a choice in every aspect of our lives. I would like to mention a ideology I happen to come across about the view the Catechism of the Catholic Church have on free will:
“God created man a rational being, conferring on him the dignity of a person who can initiate and control his own actions .God willed that man should be ‘left in the hand of his own counsel,’ so that he might of his own accord seek his Creator and freely attain his full and blessed perfection by cleaving to him.”
So no doubt there is something as free will. And it’s all in our control to use it either for good or for worse.
Now we have got the answers to two questions. Fair enough! But my basic question still remains unanswered. “Why does God, despite of knowing how much we’d have to suffer, make us go through the hardships of life?” Or if I rephrase it I would be asking, “If God was omniscient then why can’t He stop tough times?”
Most of you would satisfy in an answer which would be “God gives tough times to remember Him.” Well how many of us who would be going through one of the above mentioned hardships will act like Job (from the Bible) and still keep on praising God? Maybe we might initially but for how long? Even Job after a while did complaint to God for the situation he had to go through.
That is the point. We’ve got two ways to take it. Either we can thank God or we can curse Him. (The funny aspect is either way the above answer that everyone satisfies in prove true: we remember Him).
Let me just tell you about two people I’ve come across in my life.
One of them is a person very special to me, going through a severe stage of Hemophilia A (bleeding disorder). He was diagnosed at age 2. He was a person who saw the best years of his childhood and teens pass by sitting behind the four walls of the house. He always used to say “To kill me, all it takes is one prick from a needle”. That intense was the level of his condition. Due to some personal reasons, I don’t have further updates on his health conditions. Just glad enough to know he’s alive.
So having sacrificed the good years of one’s life to go through a hell lot of excruciating pain didn’t actually get him to build a good rapport with God. But still he knows there is a Supreme power.
Another person I know, quite close to be a sister of mine, was diagnosed with Leukemia one and half years back (2012). The doctors gave hope to us as well as her that she will be free from all this. And true to their word she got her freedom just 7 months back (2013); as she bid us all farewell to join her family (her parents and brother passed away earlier). I still wonder to this day how the last moments of my little angel was.
Well during the period of 11 months, she suffered agonizing pain from medications and more than that as her parents had passed away earlier there were mental pressure from her relatives eating her head all the way not even giving the slightest consideration of her being unwell.
Believe me when I say this, regardless of all this, during the 11 months time I’ve hardly heard her complaint to God. Instead, for every day of less pain she suffered and the moments that made her tremendously happy my phone beeped with an “I love God so much” message.
So basically what I am trying to prove here is that, it’s all in how you take it. In these lives both of them had to go through almost the equal severity of pain in their illness yet both their perspective towards life and most of all towards God is highly contrasting. This is where the matter of Free Will comes into the picture. You can either thank Him or curse Him. It’s your choice in the end. Either way He’s not going take you suffering back. You have to go through the entire thing yourself, till the day He has planned for you to do so.
And also according to many religious studies and beliefs God being omniscient and man given free will are paradoxical. There is a contradiction between the two that is beyond our understanding, which means we must stick to making our own free choices in favor of God so as not to misuse the freedom he has given us.
So in my personal opinion, even if you don’t thank Him at least stop questioning/complaining/cursing Him when you’re on a hard road. It doesn’t make your path easier to travel. And it definitely doesn’t change anything either.
So when God plays, you play along with Him and enjoy the game. Coz one day, when you stand before Him, with all the love he has He’ll hold you tight and say, “I laid, you played and you did play well, my child.” Make sure you live your life to hear that. It’s worth more a happiness that anything else you achieve in this world can bring.