One of the things I have often wondered is why would an all-loving, omnipresent, benevolent and merciful God allow so many horrible things to happen? Let’s take some very recent events for example:
Father dies at a baseball game trying to catch a fly ball
Tamarac Teen Dies in Tubing Accident
High School Footbal Player Dies After Practice
I could go on but, I think you get the point. Sadly, every day really bad things happen and they rarely make sense to us. So, I have to ask the question:
GOD, WHERE ARE YOU?
I have spent a lot of time reading some of the Psalms, Job, and Ecclesiastes as these books delve into the concept of Theodicy more than any of the other Bibilcal texts. The only thing that seems to makes sense to me isn’t actually written but, in reading them along with some of what I learned in my Torah studies I think I may have it figured out, at least in a way that makes sense to me. As difficult as some of the things I mentioned are to accept, the fact is every single one of them was preventable. The father could have let the ball go, the teen could have tubed somewhere safer, and the training in the extreme heat was not really that necessary.
So why did God allow them to happen?
Free will. Aside from the gift of Reason, Free Will is one of the greatest divine gifts we have been given. God is not a puppet master that controls our every move. We are given all aspects of the divine essence and as such free will and reason are the most prominent of them all. Unfortunately when we do not use them both we can put ourselves in precarious, dangerous, and deadly situations. Rash decisions and the lack of common sense are behind many of the bad things that happen.
As a Father, there are things I know my children will experience in life. Things like pain, disappointment, sorrow, and regret. At the same time I also know they will experience joy, happiness, accomplishment, and success. So should I not have children because I know bad things might happen to them? Do I not have children knowing all along that they won’t live forever? Of course, not. I raise them the best way I can, show them love, teach them values and hope that they take what they have learned and live a good and decent life. (This is emblematic of how we are “created in God’s image”)
So what about earthquakes, hurricanes, and natural disasters. Well, I think we all need a dose of humility on this one. We are NOT the only creation and nature itself has its cycles and purposes. While they may be inconvenient to us and even deadly, they have to run their course and we have to be reminded that the world does not revolve around us. We are like specks of dust and while internally we think of ourselves as being important – which we are – we are not alone and we have to remember to be humble and not feel entitled to having our way all the time.
Every breath we take is a gift and the mere fact that our hearts beat without us having to think about it is nothing short of miraculous. At any second our body can choose to just stop or not wake up from sleeping. Every single second of our life is a miracle but, every second also brings us closer to that final curtain call.
So where are you?
“The LORD said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.” (1 Kings 19:11-2)
When times are tough and things don’t make sense and you feel abandoned. Close your eyes and listen for the whisper.
© Nelson Rose, The Quest for Light