Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Through God's Eyes Taking a Spiritual Look at Events and Issues of Special Interest to Young People

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Through God's Eyes Taking a Spiritual Look at Events and Issues of Special Interest to Young People

Article excerpt

Are the bad things in life God's way of punishing us? Bad grades, bad jobs, sickness, injury, failure -- does God send evil to teach us things?

When I was in high school my foot grew malformed and very painful. I wouldn't let any of my friends see it; in fact, I tried to keep it a secret.

I often prayed to God to heal my foot. This was how I wanted to take care of the problem. But I could tell even when I didn't look at it that there wasn't any change. It just didn't seem fair. I thought I was a good person most of the time -- at least I knew I wasn't so bad as to warrant this kind of disfigurement and pain. Why was God allowing this in my life? What was He trying to tell me? What had I done wrong? I would pray and check my foot, pray and check my foot -- give up -- then pray and check my foot again. Nothing. No healing.

I didn't resent God. I just figured that there was something that I still needed to figure out, so I tried to bear the pain. Then one day I was reading about people who'd been healed by praying. Although at this point I'd pretty much given up on the possibility of my own healing, I felt incredibly happy for these people. Then I thought to myself, "The problems and diseases that these people were praying about probably seemed just as intimidating and persistent -- and, from the sound of things, sometimes even more painful than what I'm praying about."

Why were they healed? As far as I could tell, they didn't seem to deserve healing any more than I did. I remembered what I'd read in the Bible: "God created man in his own image" (Genesis 1:27). I didn't know much about God, but one thing I did know -- He is perfect. He is Spirit. He is all Life, all Truth, all Love. God doesn't have a malformation. In "his own image," neither did I.

Maybe God created me perfect, too, but just allowed me to suffer for some reason. No, that didn't make sense. God is all Love. Divine Love is infinitely more than human love. Could God's love for me, a love so big, also allow pain?

For the first time in a long time I felt some hope. If God loved me so much that I was created spiritually and perfect, then this problem wasn't real and wasn't forever. …

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