Skip to main content

The problem of evil

I was asked tonight why God doesn't end the evil now, why wait? I was asked why pray to a God who is going to let evil continue?  "Why pray He's not going to change His mind, He's going to do whatever He's going to do anyway!"

I feel like I failed miserably in my attempts to answer.  I pray somehow, in my weakness, God would show Himself strong and speak truth in the ears of the ones with understandable questions.

As I sat tonight after reading about Elijah, calling on God in a set-up to prove nothing is impossible with Him and that He alone is God, and after reading the prophecy that some day, the lion will lie with the lamb, and after reading Peter's letter to answer the questions about why and how long- he said God is patient, not wanting anyone to perish, but wanting everyone to come to repentance.  God is waiting for us.  He is not slow in bringing about His promise to bring evil to an end, He is patient to draw us out first.  After I read all this, and watched some of my questioners fall asleep as I read, feeling like my words were falling on sleeping ears, feeling like no awakening was getting in, I went out to the couch and watered the word I spoke with my tears.

And I called on God, the God who is God even over Connecticut.  Even over sleeping ears and doubting hearts and questioning men.  I cried:

Why shouldn't I call on You Lord?  Who should I call on?  Should I call on no one?  Shall I hide in my hobbies?  Or TV?  Or music?  Or food?  Or politics?  Shall I stick my head in the sand and act as though nothing is happening?  Shall I carry on numbly as though nothing is ever going to change?  Shall I act as though I can save myself and live the good life while those around me fall victim to evil?  Shall I call on politicians?  Or philosophers?  Shall I call on new laws or religious leaders?  Shall I call on education or psychologists?  Shall I call on philanthropists or musicians?  Shall I call on neighbors to rally?  Shall I become a hermit and flee from the troubles of the world?  Shall I call on no one?  

Who have I but you Lord?  Even if nothing I think should change changes because I call on You, does that mean you don't hear, or don't care?  Shall I not cry to you and ask you to change things and yet surrender to your goodness and sovereignty and acknowledge my brevity and fallenness?  

Do I presume to know what you should do?  Shall I not entrust myself to You who sees all things and knows all things and is working all things according to Your will?  I choose to cry to You, not turn from You.  I don't understand.  I can't explain You.  I can't defend You.  I can't convince others of You.  But I will call on You.  Though evil seems to prevail, though the ones I love seem to doubt You, though I myself do not understand why Your will plays out this way, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation!  I will run to the only One who saves!  I will choose to believe Your promise to one day make all things new through Christ who is your answer to the problem of evil.

And so I go looking for others whose faith will stoke the smoldering reed of mine.  I pick up If God is Good on my Kindle and start reading:

"The cross is God's answer to the question 'Why don't you do something about evil?'"- Chapter 21 of If God is Good by Randy Alcorn.

"God may already be restraining 99.99 percent of evil and suffering...  Given the evil of the human heart, you'd think that there would be thousands of Jack the Rippers in every city.  Her statement stopped me in my tracks.  Might God be limiting sin all around us, all the time?  Second Thessalonians 2:7 declares that God is in fact restraining lawlessness in this world.  For this we should thank Him daily." - Chapter 30 of If God is Good by Randy Alcorn.

"Behind almost every expression of the problem of evil stands an assumption:  we know what an omniscient, omnipotent, morally perfect being should do.  But we lack omniscience, omnipotence, and moral perfection- so how could we know?  We should rescue ourselves as judges.  As finite and fallen individuals, we lack the necessary qualifications to assess what God should and should not do.  Not only do we know very little, even what we think we know is often distorted.- Chapter 35 of If God is Good by Randy Alcorn


Quieted,
Sheila

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

post anesthesia thoughts

(has nothing to do with the post, just a pretty pic i took a long time ago)
I'm not going to over think this post too much.  I had minor surgery today and am still feeling drunk on leftover anesthesia/fentanyl/percocet.  Consider yourself and the three other people reading this warned.
In the past few weeks I've been listening to podcasts from writers, reading articles about blogging and freelance writing, etc.  In one of those I was admonished to write something daily.  Be it a blog post, a journal entry, a poem... something.  Because writers don't just think about writing, they write.  I think my pastor said or wrote that once too.  It struck me then, and when I read this lady's article.  I am a writer.  Not a known writer.  Not the best writer.  But I enjoy writing and I just process life better when I'm writing.  But when I set out to write something, especially publicly, I sometimes step in the quicksand of self-analyzing and get stuck there.  And then I don&#…

eyes on the Author- the every morning struggle to walk by faith

I don't wake up full of vision and motivation.  Actually, what motivates me most is the idea that my french press and single-origin coffee from Guatemala are just minutes away from awaking my senses with it's warm, toasty aroma.  And on those days when I get my stiff, puffy-eyed body out of bed and make my way to the cabinet to prep the press with my favorite coffee and find we're out, I feel great motivation to get dressed and drive to the local store so I can hurry up and get back home before too much time has passed and get my coffee going.

Basically, coffee motivates me to get up in the morning.

Mixed in the grogginess between eyes open and that first cup of coffee I remember who I am.

I am not my own.  I am a Christian.  The weight of meaning in that word falls on me like gravity on the fledgling attempts of a young eagle to fly every morning.

I feel myself falling.  Falling. Squawking out a cry, "Help!  Help Lord!  I am yours. Let me hear your loving kindness…

An Unlikely 23 Years

Wedding Day- Sept.4, 1993
Connor's birthday- April 1, 2003
During our first separation and pregnancy with Ryland- November 2004
Seeking a new start in Arizona all together- October 2005
 Second separation March 2010
Still together on a desert trail- Spring 2015
Today has been a tough day, emotionally.

Twenty three years ago today I made a vow before God and about 100 family and friends to take James as my husband, to have and to hold from that day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, till death do us part.

Those are some serious promises.  Better, worse, richer and poorer, sickness and health have all been part of these 23 years.  Honestly, most of it has been hard.  We weren't a very likely match at 19 and 21.  He from the big city, me from a small town.  His dad a pharmacist, mine a log truck driver.  We met in a child development class, taking pre-reqs for nursing.  He hated it.  I loved it.  He had long hair and torn jeans and l…