If God is Good: Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil

The section "Why Does God Allow Suffering?" offers readers insights on the following topics:
  • How God Uses Suffering for his glory
  • How God uses Suffering for Our Sanctification
  • How God Uses Suffering to Build Our Character
  • Suffering can give Birth to Joy, Compassion, and Hope
  • How God Uses Our suffering for the Good of others
Alcorn's book is wise and relevant.

I want to highlight one of Alcorn's points which resonated with a recent experience I've witnessed:
As dentists, physicians, parents, and pet owners regularly demonstrate, suffering may be lovingly inflicted for a higher good. 
Not long ago, I watched as a doctor/father held his two-year-old child and administered a breathing treatment.

The hospitalized child yelled "No! No!" as he pressed the mask against her face, covering her nose and mouth. Assurances and soothing tones did not still her cries.  The child screamed repeatedly. Sweat poured down her small face. She fought to free herself from her father's arms and grabbed at the mask. The doctor/father secured the mask firmly over her face again.

When the treatment was over, the father tenderly held the toddler while her raspy breathing slowed. She lie limp in his arms, watching Snow White dancing with romping dwarf friends on the big screen across the room.

How could the small child understand the procedure that wrenched everyone in the room, including her father, was necessary and good? Someday she may understand.

As an earthly father can allow short-term suffering for a greater good, our heavenly father allows suffering for lasting good.

I highly recommend If God is Good.  Alcorn's book skillfully uses principles, perspectives and personal stories to reveal the heart and mind of God.

What do you think? If you've read If God is Good: Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil or other relevant books, what thoughts or quotations resonated or clashed with you?

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