Did you take the title photo?
Yes, I did. I took it in Interlaken, Switzerland. My junior year of college I studied abroad in Paris, France for five months and Interlaken was one of the places I travled to over spring break.
Why does God allow pain/sorrow in my life?
Several potential answers* really, first, let's start with a source of pain; people. People are not perfect and whatever we set out to do, no matter the intentions, always becomes flawed because of this. We are sinful, we hurt others and others hurt us and the ones we love. But God did not design the world with sin, no He designed a perfect paradise utopia known as the Garden of Eden, death did exist. However, Adam and Eve were tempted by knowledge and power, they gave way to the sin of pride and decided that they knew better than God and chose to disobey His decree to not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 2-3). This is known as the Fall of man, when the devil got a foothold and sin (and consequently death) entered the world. With sin in the world there can not help but be pain and suffering.
Now that we know that the origin of pain is sin, promoted by the devil and delivered by ourselves when we do not rebuke it, let's look at some reasons why God allows us to do it as well as be impacted by it.
- No pain, no gain. Often God uses tough times in our lives for our own good! Whether it is to draw us closer to him as we once again realize our need for him (think of all the times God had to let the Israelites go through tough times so that they would turn from their rebellious ways beck to Him), or if it is to make us a better person, refining us through tough times and trials (Psalm 66:10, Isaiah 48:10, Daniel 11:35). "In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith--of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire--may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed." 1 Peter 1:6-7
- God's mercy. Why doesn't God stop horrible atrocities, children being sold as sex slaves, innocent people being martyred, etc.? Well, his mercy not only extends to us but also the people who commit these horrible crimes. God is holding out his great wrath until the end of the world when judgment comes, then watch out! Do I wish God would blast these people off of the face of the earth now? Yes. But let's consider the apostle Paul for a moment. Paul wrote the majority of the New Testament in the Bible and he spread the good news of salvation from our sins through Jesus better than anyone. But, before all that, before Jesus appeared to him and he was converted, he relished killing innocent Christians (Acts 8:1-3). What if God had taken Saul/Paul out . . .will continue this thought soon.
The next part of this section will be coming soon!
*Answers are based off of what I know from the Bible (which is regarded as the Truth). They are not perfect because I am not perfect. I don't know everything because I am not God ;)