Thursday, April 21, 2011

Is He Not Almighty? Or Does He Just Not Care?

When tragedy happens, it's difficult to understand why. I recently watched a video in which a Christian was asked by a reporter, in light of what's going on in Japan, does God A. Not have the power to stop it? or B. Not care? If you're like me and believe that there is a God who is both sovereign and cares, you might wrestle with this. I guarantee you will be asked a similar question at some point: How can a loving God allow pain and suffering? Or suppose you're not sure you believe in God, and are kind of with the questioning reporter.

I am BY NO MEANS an expert theologian. I don't necessarily think that's a requirement for God revealing things to you. At any rate, these are my jumbled thoughts on this.

First of all, I need to understand that Jesus weeps with us. Take a look at this passage from the B-I-B-L-E.

When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. “Where have you laid him?” he asked.
“Come and see, Lord,” they replied.
Jesus wept.
(John 11)

Jesus sees this woman, who he loves, and her friends weeping over her dead brother and his response is to weep as well. I want to look at my life and everything in it through this scope. If my pain causes God pain, that changes everything. If He feels my pain, He must choose very carefully what He allows to come into my life. He understands. Human suffering deeply moves and troubles Him.

The next thing to look at is my shallow view of good. What things do we ask God for? Blessings, prosperity, comfort, healing. All outright good things. But what if sometimes good things actually come through seemingly bad circumstances--even painful ones? I have personally experienced this. When my parents got a divorce, I began to feel worthless. So many of my tears have been dedicated to this singular event. Yet this is the very thing that drew me to God. When it felt like no one saw me as worthy, I turned to prayer, to music about Jesus, to the bible. I began to see myself as infinitely worthy through His eyes. This changed my life! And what about the hard things that turn out to be some of the best things? Like marriage, raising kids, going on mission trips. Now I'm not saying you should go out and pray for tragedy to happen. Dear Lord, please bring as much pain as possible into my life. No! I am simply suggesting that our view of good might be too small.

*Disclaimer* Yes this song is a little cheesy-sounding. No, it cannot compete with Mumford and Sons. Please give it a chance despite these things. The words just might resonate with you like they struck a chord in my heart.

How do you deal with suffering?  And what do you think about it spiritually, philosophically?

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