Wednesday, November 17, 2010

God's Troubled Past

Is it possible that our God’s troubled past is the very proof that He is real? As believers, we are often confronted with questions about our faith that are hard—if not impossible—to answer. Ours is a simple but, at the same time, complex religion. Those who do not believe have a lot of questions that, on the surface anyway, appear to put a chink in our spiritual armor: -“If there’s a God, then why is there so much pain, suffering, disaster, death?” -“If He really is a loving God, why would He kill so many people?” - “If God knows everything, then He knew man would sin against Him. So why bother?" - "Why even create a world where His only Son needed to die?” As a believer, I myself have wrestled with these questions. And that’s perhaps the most disconcerting thing to non-believers. How can you possibly believe in a God if you don’t even know the answers? How can you believe in a God that you obviously don’t understand? A lot of people ask these questions as if they are some some "Aha!" moment that proves, "see, there couldn't possibly be a God." But what it really means is that there's not a God that YOU would create. If you could make God, you'd make him someone who doesn't allow suffering, doesn't allow death and pain and sorrow. But then again, if YOU made him, then he wouldn't be God, would he? See, you don't get to decide what kind of creator you have. I should also point out that Christians deal with pain and suffering too. It’s not like only non-believers die…or suffer. But, if you believe that God created this world and therefore has the right to do whatever He pleases with it, then you get to the point where you realize you will never understand it all in this life. There's a peace to that, I think. Doesn't mean we won't ever question again, but there is some sort of peace to it. God is God. I am not. You are not. And while you may not be okay with that, I am. So if my God decides that, while we're here on earth we need to suffer, then that's well within His right. In my own personal opinion, I think it will make heaven that much more amazing. But here’s the point that many non-believers miss: Perhaps the fact that we don’t know the answers is the most compelling evidence ever that our God is real. I mean, think about it, who would make up a God with such a troubled past? If we were creating our own God, wouldn't we make him the way we want? A God who is only peaceful, caring, loving? A God who doesn't allow death, suffering, pain? Christians could have avoided all the scrutiny if we had just said, “Our God doesn’t allow these things. He never started wars. He never caused a flood. He never spilled blood.” Everyone would love that God, right? But that’s not the God we serve. And perhaps faith has a lot to do with the acceptance that there is a justice higher than we can comprehend. There is an answer that’s beyond our grasp. And when you come to that conclusion, that God’s ways are beyond the reckoning of man, there you will find peace. It’s not about knowing all the answers. It’s about knowing that you don’t know all the answers and saying, “but I’m okay with that. Because God is God. And I am not.”


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