Why Does God Allow Suffering?
An Answer You’ve Probably Never Heard Before
For many, suffering is why they give up on God. It’s hard to believe a loving Creator could allow some of the horror that goes on throughout the world.
It’s ironic, because suffering is when God is actually closest to us, if we’re aware. But don’t worry, that’s not the answer here.
Either way, suffering is part of the experience of being human, there’s no way around it.
Let’s address the cliché answer first
Why does God allow suffering? One common answer is that suffering is here to teach us, to help us grow.
I’m not going to dispute that, suffering does teach us and often forces growth. In fact, it was a low point during the early pandemic that I decided to finally get back into writing columns like I wanted to forever. I grew.
I looked back at other travesties I somehow survived, and each time, I grew.
But that’s not the full answer, that’s just a hint of what’s really going on here.
Let’s Stop Blaming God, and Look At “Suffering” Itself
Why do we suffer? We’re not talking about physical pain, as that certainly causes people to suffer, but we mean the mental anguish of suffering itself.
The wisdom of two giant spiritualities (yogic and Buddhist) have a word for the causes of suffering, kleshas, Sanskrit for “poisons.”
They agree that among the causes of suffering are:
- Having a big ego
- Attachment to people/things
- Repulsion and aversion
- Fear of death and the will to live
But one of these is the greatest of all, and it is the root cause of our suffering.
- Spiritual ignorance
This is considered the “trunk of the tree of suffering.”
What is spiritual ignorance exactly? Essentially, it’s not trusting our Creative Source. All the spiritualities warn against it. Even Jesus chastised his disciples for not having enough faith whenever they worried.
So really, suffering comes from expecting things to come out our way and seeing anything outside of that as the wrong way.
It comes from putting our will over the will of God. Or better yet, suffering is not fully trusting that everything happening is meant to be and helping us reach a greater good.
The end of suffering is to believe in the comic ending of the cosmos, the uniting of souls, even quantum physics finally making sense (haha). It’s to believe Love is the answer.
So yeah suffering helps us grow, but God didn’t put it there. He gave us free will and free minds. Our distrust puts it there.
We’ll see our loved ones again. We survive death. Light wins over darkness. These are spiritual truths.
For those who need evidence, see my article about soul survival here.
We don’t have to suffer to grow when we learn to see the full picture, to trust, to realize there’s absolutely nothing to fear in the universe except our own fear, which is based in spiritual ignorance.
The spiritual wisdom that unites all religions is trusting in the Power of Love.