In 1947, a young New Yorker named Glen Chambers had a lifelong dream to work for God in Ecuador. At the airport on the day of departure, he wanted to send a note to his mother but he didn’t have time to buy a card. He noticed a piece of paper on the terminal floor and picked it up. It turned out to be an advertisement with ‘*Why*?’ spread across it. He scribbled his note around the word ‘Why?’ and put it in the post box.
That night his airplane exploded as it hit the 14,000-foot Colombian peak El Tablazo. When his mother received the note after the news of his death the question burned up at her from the page… ‘*Why*?’ *Why* does God not stop a global pandemic? *Why* does God allow such suffering?1 This question is the single greatest challenge to the Christian faith.
The amount of suffering and its distribution seem to be random and unfair. It outrages and bewilders us. Theologians and philosophers have wrestled for centuries with the mystery of undeserved suffering, and no one has ever come up with a simple and complete solution.
We see that although suffering is never good in itself, God is able to use it for good in a number of ways. God loves you. Your suffering is also God’s suffering. He suffers alongside you. Yet he does not always simply remove suffering from your life; he sometimes uses the bad things that happen to bring about his good purposes.
And that’s the Memo
By Nicky Gumbel and The YouVersion Bible in One Year Plan