Friday, May 15, 2015

Where is God in this Senseless Pain?


TWO families are brought together in a remote holiday destination; kids, bikes, fishing rods, bait, and a broken down vehicle, among a kitchen sink of stuff. Messiness is endured, and, when the days are finished, the couples settle down for an evening cup of tea. A chat develops.
As superficiality of the world’s problems makes way for a more serious and incisive confession, one couple does more of the talking; the other couple listens. There is warmth there, beyond the campfire as its flames lick the sky’s air. There is silence beyond a lone voice and the random crackle of the fire.
Eternity’s perspective has broken through.
Time stands still. Space has been opened. Space for the laments of a dear couple wondering where on earth God could be in the mess of the tragedies and injustices of life. Tears flow. Embraces are given. Love is exchanged. And God is good, even though the world’s problems are nowhere near solved over that campfire cup of tea!
And, still, the next morning, life begins again — the messy life. We get to work it out all over again. Yet, healing is a journey with no destination this side of God’s eternal bliss.
***
To the question, “How could God stand by and allow all this suffering — innocent lives destroyed or taken?” … “It just makes no sense to me,” is this answer.
We cannot ever know the judgment and justice of God this side of eternity. Sure we can postulate and decide, but none of us knows with all wisdom the workings of reality in a heavenly realm. As a believer we have to make a conscious choice to trust God, especially because we know we have no answers to give. And, somehow, in that trust we are given entry into peace — a perspective that works in life; an outlook that can only benefit ourselves and others.
Who can answer such questions of who goes to heaven and who goes to hell other than a decision made by faith. It’s all any of us can do. And there is peace in that. We are all in the same predicament. Nobody gets a better share of the kingdom this side of eternity.
So we can pray for peace that transcends our understanding. We will not understand, yet in not understanding we can land in the place of acceptance.
To the question of suffering there is no answer but the hope of an answer in eternity.
Eternity holds the key to all the mysteries of life.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.

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