I was once very sick and in so much pain that I could not get out of bed. Some friends came over to comfort me. The situation quickly turned into a Job type moment. I was upset about being in such pain. I knew that Jesus could heal me if He wanted to, and I believed very strongly that He was my friend and would want to heal me. But as of that moment He hadn’t and I was very upset about it. My friends than began to give me the same sort of advice that Job’s friends gave him. Good sound theological advice. They reminded me that God is Almighty and the sovereign king of history. That nothing happens that is not His will. I was deeply offended by this response, and have spent years trying to work out a good explanation. The question is as it has always been, why do bad things happen to good people. I do not claim to have the definitive answer. I do not know the will of God or all His grand plans. It seems to me though that the idea that God is totally in charge is all wrong. Does the scripture not say that Satan is the prince of the world? How can God be in charge and Satan be prince of the world? Does that mean that God wants Satan to be in charge? What kind of God would that make Him? So the answer to me is that God is not in charge. But God is omnipotent, how can he not be in charge? Because He loves us. God loves us so much that he has given us free will. He has given us the control. That’s really what love is, giving up control. If Satan is really in control of this world it is only because God has given us the control and we have given to the enemy. God, because of His great love for us, God remains out of control. The only time God is in control is when we return His love and let Him once again be in charge of things. Only in people who know themselves and love the Lord and each other is God in charge at all. In all the rest of us He is in control maybe a few moments of the day. No, this doesn’t explain why I was sick, or why there is so much suffering in the world. But I think I came to understand God a little better. He could end all pain with the wave of His hand, but because He loves us, He decided to suffer with us. Look upon a crucifix and find the mystery of suffering unravel just a bit.