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Suffering (death of a young child): Why Does God Allow People To Suffer or Die

Updated on November 24, 2016

In essence God doesn't allow for suffering, but we as humans because of sin suffer-- or so at least this is what the Bible tells us is the reason. It is hard to image it, but in the Bible it does say that he wages of sin is death (This was written by St. Paul). Yet, for some reason I've gone from understanding pain as an observer to someone who question why?

Or, more precisely why does God let us suffer? Not simply physical, but emotional and mental and even spiritual. Let me share my own experience of suffering. The loss of a loved one, one whom many people would assume a long life to.

The loss of a baby.

With my child's death I questioned my own faith and spirituality. I questioned why God would allow someone so young to die. I questioned my own faith and reason for belief. In this questioning, I hit a brick wall.

This brick wall caused my faith to diminished as I questioned the value of suffering and why I needed to suffer. I wondered what good my faith was. My brick wall seemed high and strong.

It wasn't.

No matter what, he is still in my heart.
No matter what, he is still in my heart.
We all miss our children-- if they die, no matter what
We all miss our children-- if they die, no matter what
Sometimes you simply need to write out your feelings
Sometimes you simply need to write out your feelings

I begged and I cried, and I prayed for my child to live, and yet he didn't. Then I got mad, angry, and bitter, of course I didn't understand that I was still young in my faith, and although I spent my whole life as a Christian this rocked my faith to its core. I began to believe God abandoned me. I took death of a loved one as a sign God wanted suffering in my life. It nearly broke my spiritual life. I stopped praying and communicating to God.

Tears of pain only cause the brick wall to grow strong.  It was though time and help I began to pull down the wall.

It was only later when I began to understand that God doesn't allow suffering, in many ways he relieves suffering. My child was suffering and he needed relief. This I could not understand. I still don't. Yet I am at peace with that. With loss one must wonder why some never accept it and others do.  why some suffer for a lifetime, never growing always hurting, and other come to terms with their suffering.

From my experience it is family and friends who knew when to speak and when not to. There were others who did speak when they shouldn't have but they also didn't know what to say in terms of comfort.  This can increase suffering, and push away faith.

Death and loss scares and scars us, and yet, we wonder what we did to have this suffering. I must admit that God had nothing to do with my suffering, it was my frail body that couldn't understand the gift that was given to me at the time.

There are so many types of joys and sorrows, some are for good right away and some are for good long after the fact. During that time we suffer, it is also during that time that we grow. Or, at least I've come to the conclusion that we grow because of it.

Suffering is not a bad thing, I think that in the Bible many of the Old Testament and New testament people we so look up to and comment upon suffered. Jesus did the ultimate suffering and yet, he won the greatest thing, for us, eternal life.

I've learned that God doesn't allow us to suffer, we do, but he also allows us to grow, with either suffering or joy. Just like crying, it can be for both joy or sorrow. In the end it brought me closer and stronger in my faith.

My brick wall of suffering is growing smaller, although I feel that it will never leave but in the end, my faith has grown over it. 

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    • Rebecca E. profile imageAUTHOR

      Rebecca E. 

      6 years ago from Canada

      kat-- to whom are you referring to?

    • profile image

      kat 

      6 years ago

      mr is so not worth it

    • profile image

      Ruben H. 

      6 years ago

      All mans suffering must come to an end.Though it may be mental or physical.We as humans bond with the people we love .We seek to hold the things we do not have.The grace of god the body may die only to be set free to find gods glory to those who believe in the greatest peace and love of my father jesus christ...

    • Rebecca E. profile imageAUTHOR

      Rebecca E. 

      6 years ago from Canada

      kim-- I can understand that you are very upset, and having lost a child myself it is a very upsetting time, but you will need to understand that this child is suffering here. I had to learn this as well. It takes time to understand, and I can see you are hurt.

      I can only tell you it takes time, and that you will grow from this.

    • profile image

      kim 

      6 years ago

      i know of a little girl that is dying of cancer and she is only 6..and i am so confused...i don't understand what one can learn froma child's death, quite simply because they havenot been given the opportunity to live this beautiful life that God has allowed both myself and others to live..i am angered..i am saddened..I am so confused right now with the ways of following and loving God..I understand abt him and Jesus, he being God's only son and about learning about having to deal with suffering, but Jesus supposedly lived past 6, Jesus, some presume had MaryMagdellan..Jesus lived past 6..Why do children only live a few years and then die? What are we supposed to learn from this?..Answers that form in my6 head only conclude towards negative, angry responses so if anyone cvould clarify this..can anyone clarify this, I'd be greatly thankful to you.

    • Rebecca E. profile imageAUTHOR

      Rebecca E. 

      7 years ago from Canada

      JacksBlog-- I'll have to think hard about that, I think for myself in a way, it was something to work through my grief, but to also make "sense" of it. I would completely agree with the view that you need to be critical, in fact if you aren't then I think you don't understand "parts" of yourself.

      I'll also have to read up on sam harris.

    • profile image

      JacksBlogs 

      7 years ago

      My son died in a playground accident when he was 8 yo so I have empathy for people writing here. I don't question that people get succor from beliefs in Gods or pray. But I also think it is time, across the board, for people set aside first and seventh century mythologies. As Sam Harris would say, when people who believe a glorious after life waits them when they die also have control of nuclear weapons, it is time for radial social change to allow and even encourage serious critical analysis of religion and faith. Write a HUB about that.

    • Rebecca E. profile imageAUTHOR

      Rebecca E. 

      7 years ago from Canada

      tonya-- ti will take a long time, and stay strong... yes you will in time.

    • tonya71 profile image

      tonya71 

      7 years ago

      if not for God i would have lost it along time ago my oldest daughter was murderd last july and he got away with it.God seems to never fail me.I am blessed with two other children.Sometimes I do nothen but cry,but I now God will see me through.I no my Sara is sitting beside him making him smile like she always did me.I still haven't brought myself to think of all my years with her(18)I cant handle it yet hopefully in time.

    • Rebecca E. profile imageAUTHOR

      Rebecca E. 

      7 years ago from Canada

      AKA Windton-- I beleive you are right. I think yes it has helped me cope a lot. In this case it allowed me not to "go mad" with my own grief.

      The reason for no intervention, well is now obvious even to me, but I think, that is a key step to healing.

    • profile image

      AKA Winston 

      7 years ago

      It is good you had some mechanism to allow you to process your grief, so I am not about to condemn your beliefs.

      However, it is good to understand that bad things happen to the general population in equal proportions, regardless of belief. Believers and non-believers get cancer at an equal rate and expire from that disease at an equal rate.

      The reason there is no intervention should be obvious.

    • Rebecca E. profile imageAUTHOR

      Rebecca E. 

      7 years ago from Canada

      Dick-- you made perfect sense, and in many ways I oten feel that way, after all it is a child I love and prayed for, but I suppose it is hard letting go. I understand, i do hope you will find peace.

    • profile image

      Dick L 

      7 years ago

      I commend you. Yes I know. I lost a Son who was age 19 in 1984. Now My wife of 51 & 1/2 years on December 31, 2011. My faith was and is't as strong as yours. My wife had the Faith. I finding it hard to go on. Things seem so wrong with a God who lets someone suffer for YEARS with cancer who loves Him so, when he has the power to CURE. My wife wrote this prayer, she called it My Prayer this is what she said. This is a prayer that I wrote for myself: God, I know you are in charge and I accept my crosses. I know that you will not give more than I can handle. Whatever you do to me I believe it is for my ultimate good. This is her faith. I now can't accept this kind of faith. I quess that babble to much. Dick L

    • Rebecca E. profile imageAUTHOR

      Rebecca E. 

      7 years ago from Canada

      ICollier-- that is how I have come to fell he is better where he is and not hurting. But of course it took a long while to feel that way

    • ICollier profile image

      ICollier 

      7 years ago

      Thanks for sharing such a touching story. When I go through pain and suffering. I always remember what my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ went through so that you, and I and our loved ones can have eternal life. My suffering can not compare to what He went through, He was God who became man so that He could suffer and die on the cross for our sins. He didn't deserve any of it. But because He experienced suffering, Jesus understands our suffering, and how we feel. And He doesn't want anyone of us to suffer. That is why He tells us to throw

      our burdens on Him. He will see you through your pain and suffering. God is a God of Love and He loves you and wants to comfort you. I am looking forward to that day when I will see my loved ones again in heaven. And that includes my baby that I never seen. Until then, I have comfort to know that they are with my Lord and Savior and are not suffering anymore. God Bless,

    • Rebecca E. profile imageAUTHOR

      Rebecca E. 

      7 years ago from Canada

      xarmywifey-- it is, but it allowed me to build up and question and grow in many different ways. Not to suggest that others don't feel pain but it does take time, and a willingess to work on you.

    • xarmywifey profile image

      xarmywifey 

      7 years ago

      Very moving, thank you for sharing. I am so happy that your brick wall is surely diminishing. I commend you for your perseverance and pray that God will give me the strength to over come my own brick walls.

    • Rebecca E. profile imageAUTHOR

      Rebecca E. 

      7 years ago from Canada

      lisa-- I would say your viws e well thought out, bbu inthiscase aftr may yers, the death of my son wa the only which coud stp his suffering. As for God, of course he do have the power to do anything he cn or does do, but in hundsight, my son would have bn far worse here than anywhere welse.

      as for a man, if you part of people, often they try to comfort but can't... I feel you'v been hurt by somthingsimilar, and itis not an easy path. My hope is no matter what route you choose to take, tat you will heal.

      Your questions are of value, and I hink i is worth hub its own.

    • profile image

      lisa 

      7 years ago

      If God exists, he has the power to stop anything he wishes, including the death of a child, and yet he doesn't. That either makes him a saddist or an uncaring god. No matter which one is correct, you are wasting your time worshiping him. I personally would rather believe god doesn't exist, and that I was gullible enough to believe in the grown up version of Santa Claus, than that I wasted my time worshiping an evil, uncaring god. Think about it, if a man treated you like this, you would leave him for being abusive.

    • Rebecca E. profile imageAUTHOR

      Rebecca E. 

      8 years ago from Canada

      Deaconess-- thank you for such kind words, it took a long time to understand at least a bit.

    • Deaconess profile image

      Deaconess 

      8 years ago

      Thank you so much for sharing such an intimate realization. May God bless and keep you!

    • Rebecca E. profile imageAUTHOR

      Rebecca E. 

      8 years ago from Canada

      vocalchoach-- no your don't you never do, but it helped me grow and become the person I was meant to be. Still yes I ask myself why a lot of the time.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      8 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      No one can possibly understand how the loss of a child affects a mother. I would have never ever dreamed it would happen to me. It has to be the supreme "test". The heart of the mother continues to beat, but is forever calling out - why?

    • Rebecca E. profile imageAUTHOR

      Rebecca E. 

      8 years ago from Canada

      equella-- what you say is true no one else can express it it is too personal, but it is something that in the end has made me who I am.

    • equealla profile image

      equealla 

      8 years ago from Pretoria, South Africa

      I do not think one word can define a group of parents who has lost their children.

      This experience is so personal and the questions so diverse and the gradient of pain so intense in any direction.

      We can just sit silent in our own little corner and cry our own crying.

      Only the strong can carry this cross. I am proud of you - you are strong.

    • Rebecca E. profile imageAUTHOR

      Rebecca E. 

      8 years ago from Canada

      heart4theworld-- it is so true that growth can come through pain and suffering, but still growth I think is needed in life.

    • heart4theword profile image

      heart4theword 

      8 years ago from hub

      Yes, there is much growth, in and through pain and suffering. Too bad, we have to learn our lessons the hard way, to get back on the right track. Great Hub:)

    • Rebecca E. profile imageAUTHOR

      Rebecca E. 

      8 years ago from Canada

      Forgyfiah-- this is so true, heaven is a wonderful place, and you do grow from this, but not in a way one might expect.

    • frogyfish profile image

      frogyfish 

      8 years ago from Central United States of America

      Yes, Rebecca, I believe all children go to Heaven, as they are in innocence of sin. That is a comfort, for you CAN go to her again...Thank you for sharing your story, and for realizing that God does indeed use your suffering for growth, wisdom and closeness to Him.

    • Rebecca E. profile imageAUTHOR

      Rebecca E. 

      8 years ago from Canada

      I believe that my child is now in a better place.

    • stars439 profile image

      stars439 

      8 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

      Informative Article. Our Rebecca, the little girl in the photo cannot walk. Very sorry about your child Dear Heart.

    • Rebecca E. profile imageAUTHOR

      Rebecca E. 

      8 years ago from Canada

      it is hard find the right words. The best is sometimes no words at all.

    • DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

      DeBorrah K Ogans 

      8 years ago

      Rebecca E,

      Thank you for this heartfelt hub. It is hard to find words when someone is grieving. Sometimes it is best to say nothing at all or just listen and be with them. I am glad to hear that

      your brick wall of suffering is growing smaller and your FAITH is getting stronger.

      Thank You for sharing,

      Blessings

    • Rebecca E. profile imageAUTHOR

      Rebecca E. 

      8 years ago from Canada

      I think the reason is it wasn' talked about up until recently everyone "lost" a child at some point to sickness or early birth so people didn't talk about it like we do now. I think in a few years they will come up with a name for parents whose children die.

    • profile image

      ralwus 

      8 years ago

      Yes and I think it may be harder on Mom as she carried that future inside her for all those days and that bond is so much more than what dad ever has. Strange there is no name for it either. We know what is an orphan, a widow, a widower but no name for a parent who has lost a child, is there?

    • Rebecca E. profile imageAUTHOR

      Rebecca E. 

      8 years ago from Canada

      Why is often the question that people ca not define. I think it brings it home with a child, as they represent a future.

    • profile image

      ralwus 

      8 years ago

      Yeah, I went through that as a child when daddy died and I was only 7. Why??? Well I am so sorry you have lost the ultimate, your child. Mom lost one in '43 and never really got over it. It won't pass as some things do, but your faith will grow again as you walk in it. God blesses all with rain as well as sunshine doesn't he? All the good and the bad.

    • rsmallory profile image

      Rebecca Sue Mallory 

      8 years ago from Central Texas

      Rebecca-I am proud of you for seeking out your faith again. I can not imagine the turmoil you must have suffered and are probably still to some degree. I encourage you to allow the joy of the Lord to be your strength. I think God allows us to suffer to some degree, look at Job. But part of having faith means we have to trust His will and His purpose. We may not understand it now or ever, but we have to trust Him, otherwise we will drown in our own despair. Prayers of peace and blessings for you and your family.

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