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I believe God is love, active in every facet of our lives -- even tragedies and challenges. So how then, can a loving God allow so much pain and misery?

The truth is, that's a profoundly unhelpful question. The underlying premise asserts we are somehow separate from God. It aims to ascribe blame -- either to an anthropomorphic higher power capriciously directing human affairs, or to a malevolent force more powerful than Infinite Love. Both are disempowering paradigms. They feed a consciousness of victimhood.

Spiritual evolution is about raising consciousness to levels greater than current conditions. So when dealing with tragedy or crises, try shifting from questions that assign blame to those that empower and inspire: "What good is latent, and how can I bring it forth?" "How can I use this experience to serve others?" "What meaning can I make of this that reflects life's expansiveness?" "What can I learn that supports my growth and healing?"

The promise of enlightenment is not that our lives will never be touched by pain or loss. Its promise is that whatever is needed to transcend life's challenges, is provided. Our work is to see beyond the obstacles allow Spirit to guide our steps.