When God Allows Suffering

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • Jan. 10, 2018
  • Joni's Posts

When God Allows Suffering

When I dove into shallow water and broke my neck, I had so many hard questions. At night, lying paralyzed in the hospital ward, I would stare at the ceiling and fume, "God… are you behind all this suffering, or it is the devil? I’m only 17, and I have a whole life ahead of me. I can’t do quadriplegia; I don’t know how to live in a wheelchair the rest of my life. If you’re such a loving Father, why would you treat your children so… so meanly?" That was a dark and difficult season in my life. And though, 50 years later, I no longer wrestle with those questions, my afflictions have not ended. The daily routines of quadriplegia, bed baths, the complications that come with paralysis and aging, the inability to use my hands or be on my feet — it never gets easier.

Add to that years of chronic pain and my battle against stage III breast cancer and, oh friend, I cannot tell you how many times I’ve prayed against depression and fear of the future. And I know you understand — perhaps not with a broken neck, but you’ve experienced the deep ache of a broken home; you’ve wept over the death of a loved one; you’ve wrestled with thoughts of, ‘Why God, why me?’ If so, let me encourage you to listen to today and tomorrow’s broadcast of Focus on the Family. They’ll be re-airing an interview I recorded on the topic of “When God Allows Suffering.” It’s a message that I hope will help you lean on Jesus for His strength and courage in times of hardship – and tell a friend to listen in. Just visit the following links to the Focus on the Family broadcast page to listen online or download the free podcast.

Listen to “When God Allows Suffering—Part 1”
Listen to “When God Allows Suffering—Part 2”


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Hi, I was in a motor vehicle accident on December 10, 2013 and a spinal cord injury. I was revived 3 times on the scene, and now I’m just working on getting better
  • Jan. 20, 2018
  • 6:35 a.m.
  • Tylerharmon
Hi Joni, my Mom recommended that I listen to on focus on the family. And I am very grateful I did. You are such an inspiration to me, I am a 21 yr old with Lupus and Raynauds. I can have some pretty bad days with these chronic diseases, so listening to you gave me hope and something much better to focus on than my condition. So, thank you so much for all you have done. You are truly blessed and an inspiration. 😀
  • Jan. 16, 2018
  • 6:52 p.m.
  • McKenna
I love you Joni !! I listened to it on focus on the family. God has shown Himself awesome thru you. Thank you
  • Jan. 12, 2018
  • 6:45 p.m.
  • Sheila McMichael