Our daughter, Linnea, has been sick all week. She is not quite 3 (she will be 3 on November 1, and she has reminded us over and over for the past month, "my birthday's coming up!"), and it is hard to watch and listen to her suffer. She told me on the phone this morning, "Daddy, I'm not feeling good."
Susanne and I have both been up in the night a lot with her this week and on one of those occasions a family in our church came to mind. I don't know them, but I know their situation: their four year-old son has battled brain tumors for quite a while now. And I thought, "if it's this hard to bear when your daughter can't sleep because of a bad, croupy cough, how does a parent do it when their child is violently ill or dying?"
Another thought: none of us, no matter how much we love someone, loves as much as God does. How painful it must be for him to see his children suffer, especially when the suffering is because they (we, I) refuse relationship with him.
Love and suffering go hand in hand. There's no way to separate the two, for God and for us.