There are moments in life you never forget. You may have heard me tell about this particular moment in my life or read about it in our family’s story. But the night I googled ‘mucopolysaccharidosis’ and read the description was one of those moments.
MPS III, Sanfilippo syndrome, is marked by severe neurological symptoms. These include progressive dementia, aggressive behavior, hyperactivity, seizures, some deafness and loss of vision, and an inability to sleep for more than a few hours at a time. This disorder tends to have three main stages. During the first stage, early mental and motor skill development may be somewhat delayed. Affected children show a marked decline in learning between ages 2 and 6, followed by eventual loss of language skills and loss of some or all hearing. Some children may never learn to speak. In the syndrome’s second stage, aggressive behavior, hyperactivity, profound dementia, and irregular sleep may make children difficult to manage, particularly those who retain normal physical strength. In the syndrome’s last stage, children become increasingly unsteady on their feet and most are unable to walk by age 10.
Currently there is no cure for these disorders. Medical care is directed at treating systemic conditions and improving the person’s quality of life. Physical therapy and daily exercise may delay joint problems and improve the ability to move.
After researching a list of 14 diagnoses the doctor desired to rule out, my heart sank deeper and deeper as I read the symptom list. The description fit. The clues were placed together and though we did not receive the confirming test results for another three weeks, I knew that night I sat alone at the computer desk that my daughter was going to have a life of suffering. And in the pit of that moment 13 years ago, I’ll honestly confess that I really wanted to know:
Why does God allow suffering?
So why does God allow suffering?
While this is not a question that can be fully answered in a blog post, I felt compelled to provide you with a paragraph of thoughts from a mama’s heart who is currently watching her girl suffer. Day by day every cell in her body is being destroyed and there is nothing we can do to stop it. Suffering on this earth is inevitable.
When God first created the world, there was no suffering. The earth and everything in it was perfect. Humans were perfect. Each thing God made held no error. But when Adam and Eve sinned in the garden, the beginning of suffering was born. Man’s hearts were now born with sin implanted. And God clearly outlined to Adam and Eve that there would be consequences to face because of sin. Suffering is part of those consequences.
But children are innocent! Why should they suffer?
Children do not suffer as a result of anything they have done; they suffer as a result of sin in the world.
From the very beginning, God had a special plan for the world. And though Satan thwarted the original plan, God continues to write the personal story of each and every single person on earth. There are parts of the story He gives us the privilege of making choices. And there are parts of the story that totally belong to Him.
Taylor’s disease- that’s not a choice she made. It’s certainly not a choice I would make. But the same God who loves us so much to send His Son to die on the cross and be our sin substitute is still writing her story. Oh, we only see certain parts of the story- some of them not so pretty. The storyline evolves quite terribly in our way of thinking. We think that God allowing her to suffer makes Him a horrible author. But it’s only because we can’t see the full story- the one she can’t speak on this earth, but will fully describe in Heaven. We want God to throw the manuscript out and rewrite to suit our tastes. But His plan is far larger than our minds can comprehend.
I’m honored to be giving away a wonderful resource that helps us understand why God allows suffering. Kirk Cameron has released the DVD, Unstoppable- Where is God in the midst of tragedy and suffering? and I believe this DVD is a great source of hope for anyone wanting to answer the question of “why suffering?” Just follow the Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway. For more information on the movie, visit http://unstoppablethemovie.com. If you’d like to order the movie, you can do so here.
And be sure to check out 14 Bible Verses for when I can’t understand God’s plan.
All for Him,
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