In my previous post, I asked the question: “Is God good?” If so,
How can a good God allow bad things to happen to good people?
The Bible teaches us that God is good. And we’d like to believe that He is. But it’s the presence of suffering in our world that causes us to doubt. It’s as if the presence of pain proves the absence of God’s goodness.Last summer, one of our girls got a pretty deep sliver in her foot. She cried and complained about it. But that was nothing compared to anytime we mentioned taking it out. Then she wailed uncontrollably. “Noooooooooo!” she screamed. “It will hurt too much!”
“Yes,” we told her. “It will hurt for a little while, but the sliver has to come out so that it doesn’t continue to hurt and get infected.”
Of course, she couldn’t understand and wouldn’t allow us anywhere near her foot. This battle of wills went on for several hours as we tried to reason with her. But she wouldn’t have nothing to do with it. To her the pain she knew was better to live with than the temporary pain she didn’t know.
Ultimately, we ended up getting the sliver out after hours of hysteria and within minutes of it being out she was running around playing again. She couldn’t understand that we love her and we know what is best for her and that often times in life we have to go through greater pain in order to find healing and wholeness.
Often times we have to go through greater pain in order to find true healing and wholeness.
Pain itself does not disprove our love and care for our children. And neither does its existence in our world disprove God. The simple fact of the matter is that even if you choose to deny God because of suffering in our world, you still have suffering in our world that you will have to deal with. And you will have to deal with it without God.
Of course, some people have chosen to do that. Deists believe there is a God who was involved in creation. He set up our world, gave it a spin, but then he left it to its own devices. Whatever happens, happens. (Many of the explorers to early America were deists. This explains why they had no problem slaughtering natives. Survival of the fittest. Whatever happens, happens).
The picture of God in the Bible, however, is of a God who is personal and good.
He walked and talked with His children in the Garden. He desires a relationship with them. And that is perhaps the problem we face with a personal God. He desires a relationship with us. And relationships that involve love can be risky.