As I am writing this, the greatest mass shooting on US soil just happened a few hours ago in Las Vegas — killing over fifty and injuring more than four-hundred. In addition, monster hurricanes made landfall in the US a few weeks ago, devastating Florida and Texas. A different hurricane recently wiped out Puerto Rico, and an earthquake in Mexico killed more than two-hundred. During all this — love or hate him — I think we can all agree our President is one of the most controversial people to lead this country and our nation is continuing to divide at its seams. So what all do we do as a follower of Jesus who believes God is sovereign and just? We believe He is all powerful and all loving, right? So how are we to wrestle with all of this? Did God allow this all to happen? Maybe you read this today asking, “Why, God?”
Let’s be honest: this sucks! I think we can all agree that each one of these disasters — natural or unnatural — are horrific in their own right. We all wrestle with this in one way or another. Personally, in wrestling with the problems of suffering and issues in the world this morning, I was spurred on by author and apologist Ravi Zacharias when he stated, “the problem of suffering in this world is in fact a problem if this life is all there is.” Believer in God or not, I think this is something we all can agree with. If this is it and this world is all that exists, then we can agree that this world is not just, or fair. For example, this past month I watched my mom be diagnosed with cancer and lose both of her parents all within a few weeks. So, this is real to me and not just some philosophical question.
While wrestling with this, the lead minister of my church Bill Geiger shared a fantastic true story when he discussed a situation between two farmers who were neighbors and lived next to each other. He said that one farmer was an atheist and the other farmer was a Christian. The atheist farmer wrote the local paper explaining how he had the same amount of produce in October as the Christian farmer even though one was prayed for and the other was not. He then concluded that God did not exist. The author of the paper simply replied, “Dear Atheist Farmer, your failure in this situation was that you assumed God settles his accounts in October and with produce.”
Here on this broken planet, things are not fair. People who believe in God and people who don’t all can die or live by the same disaster. So yes, we may ask “Why, God?” but I think the better question is “When, God?” We know all things will be made right because God is just. This means the only question that remains is “When?” That day is coming. So, in the meantime, let me encourage you with these passages on how we are to live until that day comes:
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” - 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (NIV)