In the days following the tragic tsunami in Japan that claimed 28,000 lives, I recall seeing a Facebook post from a college buddy. He was sick and tired of hearing about a God who would allow such senseless pain and refused to believe God existed at all. It broke my heart that mourning for loss could push someone even further away from healing.
Like now, I didn’t have an answer. I attempted a very biblically scholastic response, stating that “time and chance happen to us all” and no one knows why these things occur. It’s simply not for us to understand, I added. Of course this reply was quickly suffocated by the other commenters who also decided they’d had enough of this “good God” thing.
I felt like “good” had lost and “bad” won.
What’s The Verdict?
Over the past few days I’ve written blog posts asking myself 2 things:
1) Does cancer have a purpose? What is the ROI of pain?
2) If we think of cancer in the broader sense (anything destructive that causes death, decay and disease), why does God allow cancer at all?
What do you think? (Seems like a great time to test drive the poll plug-in).
The interesting thing is, though I still don’t have an answer, the online and in-person discussions regarding this subject have convinced me of a 2 things.
- Bad things lose their power when we let them go. In order for anything to be destructive it must be present (in proximity) and potent (capable of damage). While we can’t always control what’s present in our lives, we do influence the amount of personal damage inflected. Big problems look a lot smaller when we face them head-on.
- As much as it bugs me, I was never intended to have all the answers. There is no formula for overcoming life’s storms or recreating rainbows. They happen and we react, respond and relent as best we can. God gives us just enough information to get from here to heaven and the rest is yet to be told.
This week I came across this song by Laura Story called “Blessings.” It’s a ballad that explores how good can come from bad, deliberately, by design and in love. Check it out: