The subject of pain and the sovereignty of God (i.e. why God allows it) has perplexed man for ages. I think that one's view of God's sovereignty is often an issue when the topic of pain and suffering comes up. An image of a fallen God is often painted by some who say that God controls, causes or allows suffering. On the flip-side some understand that God created everything and called it good but humans sinned and we now consequentially live in a fallen world. The contrast focuses on the source of pain.
Here is part of what I recently wrote to a hurting friend after telling them about my struggles with my wife’s disability and my own battle with a blood disease that has caused me arthritic pain and bone spurs in my ankles and wrists ...
These past years have been difficult ones for both Ann and I. Yet in this season I have begun to realize that, for me anyways, God has not been involved to the degree that I once thought that he was. In a sense I have taken a different view of God and don’t see him directly involved in my pain. Even so, I still pray and still seek his will for me in this season. And I still seek to walk out what I read in the gospels every day.When I think about the word sovereignty I see a pyramid where God has delegated sovereignty to nations, to communities, to families and finally to the individual. Both groups of peoples and people themselves exercise an incredible amount of sovereignty in the world. Small wonder, with this amount of sovereignty (even at a micro level) that the world is not worse than it is. Perhaps that speaks to the overarching (macro) level of sovereignty that God exerts as He brings beauty from ashes and works all things together for our good?
I guess what this new thinking has allowed me to do, in part anyway, is to embrace God’s love differently. I have found a way to separate the cause of my pain from God but not in a schizophrenic way. I guess I see his sovereignty more in a macro (whole world) sense than a micro (narcissistic me) sense. I hate what has happened to Ann and me but see it more as the result of a fallen world than a fallen God.
...originally posted October 21, 2012