Why Does God Permit Illness And Disease?
After I posted my entry titled “Why does God let bad things happen?” I felt I had given people the answer to that question. The answer God gave me when I asked him the question has been satisfying me for many years. It has never really bothered me that it might not cover everything bad that can happen to people.
Soon after I posted the entry, however, I was watching a show on TV that made me think again. The show was about a little girl born with a disease that turns her muscles to bone. I had no idea such a cruel disease existed but it made me think about the holes in the argument that I presented in my previous post.
There are so many bad things that happen in this world that simply don’t fit into the neat little explanation I gave in that entry. The explanation that WE let bad things happen can account for a lot but what of all the things it does not explain?
What about genetic defects and diseases that seem to be random acts of malice inflicted on innocent people by nature itself? Why does God let those things happen?
I did not trouble God for an answer to that question. I have learned there are some things I just have to take on faith and I felt no desperate need to have that question answered for me.
I have a feeling, however, that God has decided he would like to offer an answer to it.
I am on holiday at the moment so I have a fair bit of time on my hands. I have been using it to write lots of entries for this blog and to research articles I want to write among other things.
Tonight I was reading through some material created for use by people working to reduce the incidence of HIV and AIDS in Africa. The material was best-practice based, meaning they did not focus on how things SHOULD be, but on working effectively with how things ARE. This meant it addressed ways to help women protect themselves from disease without trying to make them reject their culture and their position within it as inferiors who have no rights.
There is still a lot of the old me alive and kicking hehehe
I was disgusted with a lot of what I read. I got angry and outraged but some thoughts plopped into my subconscious and gradually wriggled their way through my emotional reactions into my conscious mind.
It’s not the way God usually communicates with me, or not that I’m aware of anyway, so I am not willing to claim He said anything to me about this matter. On the other hand, I have often found things seem to happen according to some sort of divine plan sometimes. This ingredient is mixed with that ingredient at exactly the right time and in exactly the right quantities to produce something good. Some people call this luck, some call it serendipity, I tend to believe it is divine guidance at times like this.
I have seen, read and heard about diseases and practices in other cultures millions of times before. I have even written or spoken about my answer to the question of why God lets bad things happen before but this is the first time there has ever seemed to be a part two to the original answer God gave me.
It feels like this is part two and God wants me to share the ideas that came to me tonight with you so here they are.
First I thought about Einstein, Louis Pastuer and all the other great men of our history. All those brilliant minds who have given mankind so much. Medicines, music, gadgets, luxuries, necessities and, most of all, cures. Many of the diseases that used to kill us off like flies in the old days are things of the past today.
Then I wondered something. Men of genius have given us so much. How much more would we have, however, if women of genius had been allowed to give what they had to offer?
How many of the cures for today’s diseases were never discovered because the mind that held the key was female and the world in which she lived permitted her to do nothing but scrub floors for the gentry?
I tried to calculate the number of potential genius minds that never had a chance to offer us everything they could have given the world.
How many minds were rendered useless through being too poor to get an education?
How many minds were crippled by abuse as children?
How many minds were dismissed because they were female in an age when females were thought to have no brain?
How many minds were dismissed because they seemed odd or their owner was the wrong age, sex, colour, race, religion or class?
How many minds died too young through abuse, crime, poverty, war and other man-made disasters?
How many minds are not giving everything they have the potential to give for all those exact same reasons today?
How many of those hundreds of thousands of millions of minds had the key to cure that cruel disease? The one that turns muscle to bone and is trapping a little girl and making her life a living hell?
All it takes is one mind. Louis Pastuer was one mind. A mind that had the chance to fulfill his potential and give us penicillin.
When we can say every mind that God gives to us is nurtured and nourished and given every chance to deliver whatever it is capable of we will have done everything we can to wipe out genetic and natural diseases.
As long as we permit minds to be crippled, ignored, murdered, suppressed, starved, abused and otherwise WASTED – God is not letting illness and disease happen – WE are!
That is what I now believe. As for why God lets earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, droughts and famines happen – give me a break!
I don’t know. Yet. I am sure God has an answer for that one too though hehehe.