Monday, October 5, 2009

God in the midst of Suffering

Calamities one after the other. People dying. Suffering and Poverty. Man's inhumanity against man.

These have become part of our regular diet. These are not made-up stories in a horror flick, or magazine photos from faraway places. These are the grit and pain of life, upclose and very personal.

My teen-age kids are asking: Where is God in the midst of all these? If He had the power to instantly stop that typhoon or earthquake that claimed thousands of lives, why did He turn his back? If He loved his people, why didn't He spare them from suffering?

To such young minds, these are very unsettling questions. It is hard for them to reconcile the image of a loving God versus a God who allows his people to suffer. Why would, indeed, a loving God allow such horrible things to happen?

I don't want to wrap everything into a neat theological package and simply dismiss those questions as invalid. But I do know that our limited minds cannot possibly fathom the infinite wisdom of the Creator behind the universe. His thoughts are higher than ours, even if we're the most intelligent creature that ever roamed the planet. He knows the past, the present and the future.

Take note that I used the word "allow". God is not the author of all these horrible things. We are. The free will that God has given us included the possibility of sin within its own meaning. We live in a fallen world and whatever is happening around us is the consequence of our disobedience to God. We are greedy, stubborn and we are simply reaping the consequences of our action. We are self-destructing, to say the least.

But the good news is that God is sovereign and he is in control of everything, even if, on the surface, it doesn't appear that way. These "signs" as prophesied in the Bible, will come to pass. He will reclaim the earth and restore it to its full glory.

Truly, his wisdom vastly exceeds ours. All we have to do is simply trust that He knows best.