Or, more accurately, why does God let innocent people suffer? God being all knowing, all loving, and all powerful, why doesn’t He do something to relieve their suffering?
Over the Christmas and New Year, I have met a lot of suffering people: children with varying degrees of handicap in Hong Kong, orphans in Gansu, people in Gansu who are not orphans but abjectly poor nevertheless, people suffering and dying from cancer in Hong Kong, ... And I got asked this question many times, in its various forms, explicitly and implicitly.
Of course there are answers to the question. Suffering builds character. Suffering brings a family closer. Suffering brings out compassion from people. Suffering brings us closer to God. Sometimes we really don’t know the answer - yet. But we humans are impatient. We want the answer now.
However, patience is an important virtue. When we watch a movie, we often cannot guess the ending, while we are only half way through. We do need to sit through the movie to find out what happens to the bad guy, and the good guy, in the end.
So, in the midst of our own, or someoneelse’ suffering, it may be immensely frustrating not to know why. But we do need to trust that God knows best.