So Why Does God Allow Suffering?

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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 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,


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

See disclosure policy for more details. 


  1. The best book I have ever read on this topic is called “When God Breaks Your Heart” by Ed Underwood. I encourage you to read it. All for His Glory!!!!!

  2. I’ve been getting your e mails n following your blog n on Pinterest etc … Keep it up !! Always inspiring !! Just wanted to also tell you about a new advancement in the medical/health world… It’s called ASEA … You can contact me directly for more details [email protected] or go to watch the product videos … Asea breakthrough , the genesis, metabolites, and dr Nieman… Asea contains trillions of redox signalling molecules that are normally produced by your cells … This may be the most significant advancement in health science since the discovery of antibiotics … Hope this might offer some courage n hope to those of you fighting for you or your children’s health … God bless … Sonya G.

  3. Thank you for giving the opportunity to win a copy of this wonderful movie…I have seen the trailers and wanted to go see it when it was playing at a theater 35 miles from me, but something came up and I couldn’t go. I would love to get this and share it and show it to as many people that I can, especially my family members who are not Christians or not practicing their faith. God Bless You!

  4. Thank you for the encouragement. I too have a daughter,Taylor, with a terminal illness. Reading your post by her bed at the hospital. The last few days have been full of physical suffering. We are clinging to His promises. Even in this storm HE is good. Praying for your Taylor and your family. Much Love.

    1. My heart aches for you and yours. May His mercy and grace surround you and fill you with the incomprehensible peace.

  5. I just worry so much about something happening to my husband or daughter. I can’t seem to get past it.

  6. Yvonne Martinez says:

    God bless your daughter and you! I’ve seen my momma suffer so many trials.. I’ve always wondered why, if she has accepted Jesus as her Savior. She’s a sweet, gentle, loving woman and has remained faithful to God. I know things don’t make sense to any of us now but they do to Him and that’s all that matters. Thanks for the chance to win this…I want to see this.

  7. Rachel, thank you for sharing your story and your beautiful prayer! As you know, having children with rare and debilitating disorders is heartbreaking. I have been blessed to teach in a classroom for medically fragile children with my grandson, Andrew, as one of my students. This divine appointment has been filled with both great joy and also, after losing Jayla and Eddie, times of grieving and sadness. It is only by God’s grace, strengthening my faith, that I awake each day with hope and resolve to make every moment count. Sometimes I feel helpless when I cannot console or comfort them. It is hard sometimes to see beyond suffering and it is during those times that I remember God’s promise to us in Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” You are so right, Rachel! God is God! His thoughts are not our thoughts. His plans are often beyond all understanding but in faith, I know that Jesus holds our special children in the palms of His hands and will hold them close to Him until He brings them home to Him, where they will be free of any pain or suffering. I pray for Taylor and the Wojo family along with Andrew and all children and their families that the Lord bless us with His Love and Peace, Comfort and Joy! In faith and trust…in Jesus’ Name. Amen!

  8. Hi Rachel, It’s quite funny that this is the conversation my son and I was having a few hours ago on the way out to dinner. We celebrating his passing one of the nursing tests. YAY!! Praise God.
    See as I am also disabled, my daughter has a daughter with no dad. And my son has been working super hard to continue school and raise a family. Even though there are things that happen or stuff we don’t understand I have always taught them no matter what happens to never, never lose faith and that is what God wants us to do. As you wrote, “His plan is far larger than our minds can comprehend.” And everything will be OK. Thanks for a great post today and for the giveaway. This is a movie I want them both to see.
    God Bless and All For Him <3

  9. “Why” is an often asked question! I love the last line of your prayer – “may I anticipate the exquisite work of your hands to turn my nothing into your everything”. This is where the truth lies. Thank you for your insight and willingness to dig into this question.
    Blessings, Mary!

  10. It’s difficult to feel loved when we babies or children suffer. I have a lot of questions when I get to heaven…

  11. Thanks! Your prayer was just what I needed after a year filled with cancer, pain, hospitalizations, and least of all, a finger amputation from an accident. I felt great peace in praying this prayer.

  12. Glenda Flemington says:

    My suffering doesn’t compare to this little childs but I suffer! There are times when thoughts want me to give up on God – question if He’s real. If I listened to the lies I would’ve been gone long ago. But, regardless of what thought try to dictate – I’M AN OVERCOMER! …and I have God on my side to help me get through each day. I pray for strength and direction for this child and the entire family. God has the answers. He knows best. Blessings on you all.

  13. Charyse H says:

    When I see children suffer, I struggle the most with why God allows them to suffer.

  14. Rachel, thank you for making this DVD available as a giveaway. Would love the chance to see it. Any time a loved one dies or a tragedy occurs, we should always turn to God first as His plan is perfect and His reasoning and timing are always in line with what is for our good.

  15. My word for the year is HOPE, hope in things that only God can change and do in our lives. Thanks for the give away, may our God of HOPE bless you in many ways.

  16. I too ask myself somedays but I hear this the most from the world I would really like to win this to watch and maybe get some anwers for the lost in my life

  17. Rachel,
    Thank you for sharing your daughters story and words of encouragement. I have been struggling with health issues and I do ask why is this happening.

  18. Kimberly Vandervort says:

    Thank you for sharing a little bit of your experiences. I think our mama hearts hurt the most for our children and we hate for them to experience pain and isolation that their disorders and diseases can cause. I’m experiencing that more as my daughter ages (she’s almost 12) and other children are more aware, adults can’t write her differences off to immaturity and as our desire for God’s miracle on earth shifts to ultimate healing through His love.

  19. My own depression and lack of control over those horrid feelings.

  20. I admit that I have asked God where he was during certain times in my life and why would he let things happen that cause us to suffer. The truth is he was right there with us all along guiding us and helping us through it. There are things that go on in the world and I will never understand how it can happen but all I can do is pray. I don’t think we will ever really understand the whys and hows of God until we go to be with him. It’s a test to our faith in him to not ask why but to just keep giving him praise even in the storm.

  21. There have been a few times, I am sorry to say, that I’ve felt the desire to ask that question. Most of which are related to my family–sicknesses–death.. God is good and will make all things work out for our good. I tell myself that everyday(sometimes several times a day)! It’s hard though, sometimes when you’re in the midst of it(at least for me it is) thx

  22. I know God is in control, even when I may not understand. I would love to see this movie and then pass it on to someone I know would benefit from it. ♡

  23. Almost four years ago I went through one of the hardest things of my life. I was pregnant and then all of a sudden I wasn’t anymore. I had a miscarriage and it rocked me to the core. Thankfully God was at my core and He carried me through that awful time. I can’t say that I didn’t question why it happened, I can’t say that I don’t still sometimes wonder why? But this I know to be true, He can comfort you, if you allow Him. He will sustain you, if you will seek Him. That is what He did for me.

  24. Thank you Rachel, would love an opportunity to win the DVD for our church library.

  25. Miscarriages, business crisis (we are farmers so the business is not usut our living but also our home), why God gave us such a challenging first year with our son (he screamed, a lot, in addition to post partum depression and a back injury on my part). Some things I understand now but there are certain things that will never make sense until we can see God’s big picture. All of it has drawn us closer to Him though.

  26. To understand & better comfort people who are suffering.

  27. So much suffering and heartache. So much wondering. A beautiful poem. A beautiful biblical explanation. A beautiful mama. Thank you!

  28. I am one who knows what it’s like to see my mama dreams and expectations for one of my children, and their future, take a sudden left turn in a hard direction I’d never expected, and be forced to embrace “a new normal”. Also in the past two years, I have helplessly and brokenheartedly watched two friends each bury a beloved child. It is all so unfair, but God’s grace and love constantly upholds them and will sustain each of us.

    I am trusting that though the circumstances are sometimes difficult and painful, not good in the least, God’s plan ultimately is. I have to believe that there is a purpose in the pain, mostly to draw us nearer to Him. There is so much we just don’t have control of and that’s very frustrating, and often discouraging. Like Peter in the boat, we quickly give in to fear and despair if we take our eye off Him . How comforting is His Word, presence and promises! My heart aches for you Rachel and especially for sweet Taylor. Praying for your family.

  29. Samantha Calvert says:

    When I lost my job to a layoff right after getting married and while trying to start a family and buy a house. It has put everything on hold.

  30. Shannon Parsley says:

    Thank you for sharing! My daughter has a rare disorder that can shorten her lifespan but we encourage her to live her life to the fullest and praising God all the way. I’ve often blamed myself for her disease, wondering what I could have done differently. We don’t know why she has a disorder and no doctor can tell us why. It just is.

  31. Karen Jones says:

    My husband and I struggled for years trying to have a child when it seemed there were unwed, struggling mothers all around us. Life just seemed so unfair. Years later we can see God’s wisdom in the waiting but it’s so hard to trust when you can’t see what’s ahead.

    1. Yes, trusting Him is so vital.And it can be hard. I remind myself that I’m trusting God to take me to Heaven. I can surely trust Him to provide the best plan on earth.

  32. In my mind I know that God knows the beginning and the end. He knows why things happen, that sometimes it’s hard to see the big picture. I struggle with wondering why things happen when they do. Why God the suffering, why he saves some and not others.

  33. I have 2 grand babies who have Cycstic Fibrosis, so I struggle with that question too.

  34. Thank you for this wonderful giveaway. This would be an amazing and inspiring DVD to win.

  35. I’m struggling & have been for the past few years, to understand what God is doing in my life & the life of my family. I wonder daily where He is. I wonder daily why He allows what He allows. I get aggravated with myself for questioning Him. Thank you, Rachel, for sharing your heart. It helps me to get through some of the days when I’m at my lowest. I appreciate your honesty & your ministry here.

  36. Oh I definitely have those days or moments, as well. I know we all do, from time to time. I rest on His unchanging grace. Thank you for sharing your heart here. Hugs, Shelly <3

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