why, if our God is so good, *why* does he allow these awful things to happen? why is there evil? why is there pain? why do good people suffer?
i truly struggled with the question of evil and suffering. before i ever admitted to myself that i was suffering from abuse, i saw deep horror all around me. in elementary school, i was friends with a brother and sister who were being abused by their alcoholic father. in kotzebue, i witnessed the destruction of our native alaskans' culture through the white americanization of this people group. my best friend in high school was molested by her father for many years, and when she finally told her mother, her mother blamed her. her mother was highly respected in our church, and when my friend tried to kill herself, and was sent to a live-in treatment center, everyone in the church rallied around her mother. my friend was blamed by the church. i saw true suffering in her eyes.
my father served in the second world war; i was a later child for him~mom was twenty years younger than he was. so i grew up with someone who had been alive during the depression. someone who was a buddy to the guys who witnessed the holocaust camps. i think hitler was one of the those people who give us a glimpse of who satan truly is.
because, my friends, satan is the source of all evil and suffering. he wanted to be God, too. he wanted all that God had. he fell from grace, and God sent satan from his presence. so a creature who had been created to spend time with God for all eternity was sent away, never to be with God again. an already warped soul became utterly twisted. his purpose was gone, and he became utterly despicable. he has to destroy everything, because he is utterly destroyed. he sees people; people who were created in the image of God, who are destined to spend eternity with God. he sees what, he feels, was taken from him. and he is utterly enraged. he wants us to suffer like he suffers. he wants to take all that is good and right and twist it so we can't live the lives that God intended for us to live.
because, dear ones, God intended us to live lives of joy, in complete harmony with him! do not succumb to the lie that God doesn't care about us! he created us because he wants to spend eternity with us! he utterly adores us! he sent his son to die for us. he sacrificed his son for our souls, so that we wouldn't be seperated from him.
the real reason, to me, for evil and suffering is that God *loves us.* and he wants us to experience that love. so he gave us free will. he gave all of creation free will. because if he didn't give us free will, we'd just be robots. and he wants us to live richly! we couldn't live richly without free will. he loves us too much to make us into robots. so he gave each of us a choice. he gave us minds to reason with. he created the angels with free will. and satan turned from God, tried to make himself a god. and his fall from grace brought evil into the world. and then adam and eve chose to disobey God by listening to satan. God knew they would. he wanted us so much that he still created us, even knowing we would choose to turn from him.
satan warps this world, corrupts it, twists it. the further we get from eden and our creation, the further corrupted our world becomes. our very bodies are twisting. our immune systems are failing. our very cells are in rebellion. of course there is evil in this world! satan twists this world to his will, because he is furious. he knows when Jesus returns, his time will be over. he wants us to suffer. i actually wonder why we don't have shootings every day.
you know why we *don't* live in utter chaos? because God is *LOVE.* all that is good, all that is pure, all that is holy; that is God. you see the joy of a little baby? that is God. you see the utter devotion in a wonderful couple's eyes when they look at each other? that is but a shadow of God's love for us. he is in the majestic mountains, the roar of the pacific ocean, the infinite vastness of space. he is in an artist's rendition of the beauty around them. he is in the kindness of a stranger holding the door for a mom with her hands full of baby and groceries. he is in the utter sweetness of a ripe strawberry plucked from the wild. he is in the taste of an ice-cold mountain stream.
|perseiad meteor shower|
he. is. love.
there are truly not words to describe the glory of our God.
he wants so much to spend time with you. do not let this horror of satan's evil to turn you from the truth of God's love for you. seek him. seek his face.
there have been many people with much more learning than me that have delved into this question. i recommend c.s. lewis, for one. he has two treaties on evil and suffering: 'the problem of pain' and 'a grief observed.' 'the problem of pain' he wrote earlier in his life, based on a lot of research. 'a grief observed' he wrote later in life while he watched his dear wife suffer a grave illness, and eventually die. i urge you to read these books if you are struggling with this issue right now. c.s. lewis was an utterly brilliant man. God truly blessed him and spoke truth through him. i also recommend phillip yancey's 'where is God when it hurts?' i urge you to check out some bible websites. type in 'suffering' and see what God says about it. maybe check out job or lamentations. pray. God will reveal himself to you if you truly seek him.
satan seeks to devour, but what he means for destruction, God turns to the good. God is the ultimate salvage artist; what was broken and tossed aside he turns into beauty. from ashes to beauty. from mourning to gladness. take your sorrow and brokenness to God. he wants so much to just hold us! he wants us to turn to him, to cast all our cares upon him. pour your anger on him! he can take it. for he can take even this tragedy and bring us closer to him.
i love you so much, my friends. peace be with you. may we seek God's face and be ever drawn to his glory.