Ask Your Preacher

Ask Your Preacher

“After The Garden”

Categories: CHILDREN, GOD, RELATIONSHIPS
     My son is dying a horrible, long lasting death of ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease).  I have been a Christian my whole life and an active staff member in the church.  My whole spiritual world has been rocked by watching my son suffer day after day with nothing in sight except a horrible death.  My question is:  I have been taught my whole life that God answers prayers.  That is not true.  God can heal.  Yes, He can, but it is just a matter of whether or not He will.  God doesn't like to watch His children suffer.  Then why does He let us?

Sincerely,
Mad Mom

Dear Mad Mom,

We are so sorry for your son's suffering, and we cannot fathom the pain it has wrought for you as well.  Sickness is a consequence of Adam and Eve’s sin in the Garden of Eden.  One of the curses of their sin was that we all must face our own mortality – life is finite (Gen 2:17).  Sickness, disease, and pain are a part of the human existence.  Sadly, this is true even for our children.  When God gave us freewill, He gave us the right to cause problems for ourselves and others, and if He simply removed all the consequences for our actions, He would be removing our freedoms as well.

God could have made us without the freedom to choose, but then we wouldn’t be “in His image”… we would be automatons.  As a parent, you have seen how the freewill of our children can break our hearts sometimes, and it can be difficult to see your children hurt when they make choices that have painful consequences.  From scraped knees to heartaches, parents watch their children get hurt when they leave the nest and strike out on their own.  God has that same parental paradox (Heb 12:9-10) – the love to let us choose even when those choices have caused all sorts of problems for us.  Your son is suffering because of the diseases mankind’s choices have brought upon us.