Sunday, June 03, 2007

If God loves us, then why doesn't he...

A friend posted a question on her blog based on a number of comments friends had made to her. Basically it was whether we, as Christians, have a right to question God over his apparent inactivity in the face of our individual suffering (which in the grand scheme of things isn't actually suffering) when God has already made it blatantly clear that he loves us and has provided everything we need for daily life. Here's the response I posted; feel free to add your own comments - here or on her blog.

I understand both sides of the argument...

On the one hand:
... if God cared why did He take Zoe from us?
... if God cared, and taking her was the best thing, why did He let us fall pregnant with her in the first place? or why let the pregnancy go so far?
... if God cared, and taking her was the best thing, then why did He let her suffer a slow, lingering death?

On the other:
... I tangibly felt God's love and comfort and presence and grace through the initial weeks of our tragedy
... at least we got to have her with us, and get to know her a bit, for a while
... at least she's in a place now where she will only know the best and never the worst of humanity
... at least we have had the opportunity to experience what real friendship and love is from friends
... at least we have learnt the true meaning of community

There are always two (or more) sides to every story. When you are powerless but know Someone omnipotent it's hard not to question their apparent inactivity. Yet, as you point out, why should we feel we have a right to ask for more, when He has already given us everything. Maybe because great outpouring of grace in an age that is increasingly self-absorbed only inspires greater selfishness? I don't know.

All I can say is that in my personal walk I swing wildly from one extreme to the other. One day questioning his love, the next adoring him for his unfailing outpouring of love. To pretend that his sacrifice on the cross was enough for me would be a lie. It isn't. But then, I don't know that it was supposed to be ever be enough for us.

Maybe the part of us that cries out against God's apparent inactivity in the face of suffering and evil is the part of us that only truly comes alive when we accept Christ's death on the cross for ourselves. Maybe God brings that part of ourselves truly alive because that's the part of us that cries out for the 'not yet' to become the 'now', when the Kingdom comes in all its fullness and glory.

Maybe that's the reason that God doesn't seem to lose his patience with me, or give up with my endless emotional pendulum. Maybe God agrees with me that it's not fair... maybe God agrees with me that this fallen world sucks. Maybe, if we were still in Eden, Zoe would still be alive and with us, not just alive and waiting for us in heaven. I really don't know, but I hope so. Because if God is just idly sitting by while s*** happens to innocent little children then he's not the sort of God I want to worship - sacrifice or no sacrifice.
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