Why do good people suffer? - Why do good people suffer?

 

I have a friend that lost her father when she was twelve due to heart failure during surgery to remove a non-cancerous brain tumor.  she goes to church and everything but says she is on the edge of atheism because she doesnt understand why God didnt answer her prayers and heal her father. i try to talk to her but she says she doesnt want to talk about it because she is afraid it will ruin our friendship and she says that she would rather have me than God. and she doesnt want to talk about her fathers death. Please give me advice because she is very important to me and i want her to know that God hasnt forsaken her. Can you please give me advice? J.

 

Dear J,

It's difficult to comfort someone, isn't it?

Let's call the young lady G.  You might try saying something to her like "Look, I'm fond of you because you're you - regardless of what
you believe, and what you don't believe.  So don't worry, you won't drive me away.  But because I care for you, I want you to be happy.
So naturally I care about your future.  It will be a shame if you lose your Heavenly Father, as well as your earthly one."

It may be that G. is still angry with God, and resentful.  Quite a few people got angry with God in the Bible!  You can find them with
Google, or your pastor might help you.  It's OK - He understands when we get angry.  And when we lose loved ones.  After all, He lost His
son.

And He doesn't stop loving us.  "Not one sparrow will fall to the ground ... and you are worth more than many sparrows."

You might ask G. "If I did something really horrid to you, would you stop speaking to me?  ... And if it was really awful, might you erase
me from your phone and your address-book, and pretend I don't exist? ... And is that really what you're about to do to God?"  Because if
she believed in Him before, she knows that He won't go away, stop existing, just because she's angry with Him.

On the other hand, this thing about her dad dying might be just an excuse?  Humans are quite devious!  Maybe G. is feeling independent,
"I can run my own life, I don't need God", and is bringing up the loss of her father years ago to justify giving Him up?  You don't tell us
her age - many girls give up their religious beliefs in their teens, at least for a while.

You could ask G. "Do you think your father still exists, somewhere?" and then  "Do you think he can see you, and see what's happening to
you?"  She will probably answer yes to both.  Then you can very gently ask "What do you think he wants for you?  What does he want you to
do?"  You will be reminding her that this life on earth is not all there is.

You could invite G. to read the page "Why Do Good People Suffer?" on our website.

Finally, remember that it's not your battle!  God and the Devil are fighting for control of G.  Maybe you can help, maybe not.  It's a
very sensitive subject, and she will easily take offence.  Pray for her, and wait patiently - God will give you words when an opportunity
comes.

We'll pray for you as well.

The A-team.