Monday, July 26, 2010

A Few Thoughts on Evil, Tragedy and the
"Why" Questions that Have No Satisfying Answers

Miscarriages, Suicides, Gang Initiations involving the rape of an 85-year old woman, Child Abuse, Deadly Car Accidents, Kids with Cancer...this list could go on and on. I'm mentioning here only the things I've personally encountered in my first few years of ministry.

And then there's the inevitable question - "Why, God, why?" I can give the neat, theological answer, i.e. we live in a fallen world where evil is a reality and God did do something about it when he sent Jesus Christ to die so that we have a way back to God and have ultimate victory over sin and death. I could talk about the work of redemption that we get to be part of and how Paul says in Romans 8 that though we groan now we also wait patiently for the hope we have in a future that will exceedingly diminish our present sufferings. There's nothing shallow about those answers, and yet they don't satisfy the gut-wrenching agony when terrible things happen, especially to someone we know and love, especially when they happen to us.

So what do we do with our anger? What do we do with our confusion? What do we do with our hurt?

If we follow the lead of the psalmists, we take them straight to God. So many of the Psalms are cursing songs and songs of anger, songs of lament, they are the cries of people living in a broken world who know their pain is real and they express it passionately to God, the One who loves them, the One whose heart breaks with them and for them.

So, I guess what I'm saying is feel what you feel and put those feelings honestly before God. Don't tidy up your conversations with God, He already knows your heart. And definitely don't stop talking to God altogether - let Him hold you, even and especially when you're kicking and screaming.

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