So, God has both brought suffering into existence and began to provide for our needs within its confines. This is the larger story within which the language of suffering lives. We do not seek out suffering as a positive good. Jesus in His ministry of healing and feeding made it clear that the alleviation of suffering is a holy calling. But we do know that in this world suffering cannot be avoided. And so, rather than resigning ourselves to it, or worse, allowing it to make us bitter, we ask the question: If God placed suffering in the world did He intend that it should have a redeeming purpose? The stories of suffering throughout Scripture, culminating with Calvary speak a resounding Yes to that question. It is a hard answer to bear. But bear it we must if we are to enter more deeply into relationship with Him who loves us.