If God is Good Then Why?

One would be hard pressed to deny the existence of evil in our world. We hear about it every day on the news, see it in Internet headlines and some live with it daily. I will admit that while I live my little life, I’ve been insulated from this evil having much of an impact on me. So after the news story came out about the three young women kidnapped ten years ago in Cleveland, Ohio, I am taken aback that Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight have taken up residence in my heart and mind.

Then another story came out. An eight-year-old girl stabbed to death in her home. Her family lives in the community where my children were raised. She attended the elementary school my children attended. I couldn’t imagine a manhunt in my old neighborhood where my kids often roamed unattended. And then the killer was discovered—her twelve-year-old brother who attends the middle school where I taught for many years. My teacher-friends had daily interactions with him.

Sad to say, these horrific circumstances are nothing new. My first year of teaching, the Columbine massacre took place, and I took a lot of flack from my students when I turned in a boy who threatened to “shoot” up the school in the same fashion. He was immediately expelled. No one will soon forget Sandy Hook Elementary School and the lives tragically lost—for no other reason than evil in the heart of one young man. And what about the 2006 Pennsylvania Amish school attack that inspired the movie Amish Grace.

Story after story—it never ends. So, why can’t I shake the images in my mind surrounding the women in Cleveland or the little girl in Valley Springs? There are connections made for me with these two instances. The faces of those three women (or at least two of them) have been broadcast day after day until I feel as if I know them. They are no longer just a vague story, one of many, told on the nighttime news. And the child in Valley Springs is a specific connection to my life there—my children’s lives there. It makes it all too real.

This is not a bad thing. We need to have a have a heart for those suffering, whether it’s in our own backyard or a third-world country thousands of miles away. I’ve recently been praying that God will fill me with compassion, “to break my heart for what breaks yours” as the lyrics go to Hillsong United’s Hosanna. I’m ashamed to admit that it’s taken this type of connection to open my eyes. And now that they’re open…it’s harder to find the joy we, as believers in Jesus Christ, should have regardless of our circumstances. And I’m questioning, “Why?” This question has directed me to revisit the book If God is in Control Then Why…? by Craig Hill. On page six he writes, “many people who have personally experienced great injustice or evil will state with their mouths that God is good, but in their heart of hearts they don’t believe it.”
I have never personally experienced great injustice—and yet I can understand how those who have will question the goodness of God. Is that sacrileges? I don’t think so. Our God can handle doubt and questions—after all, He made us to be thinkers, didn’t He? The premise of this book is that God is not in control, but He is sovereign. Hill writes on page 11 “God has supreme power to do anything He chooses, but has voluntarily limited Himself to work through delegated authority.” So, basically, God will sometimes intervene and sometimes not.

There have been many times in my life that God has not intervened on my behalf, and the end result has been abundant blessing. I hold onto this in times of difficulty. But I can’t wrap my head around how abundant blessing will come from the murder of an eight-year-old girl or the ten-year abduction, rape and torture of three young women—teens when they were first taken. Or the blessing around the genocide of millions of Jews during World War II by psychopathic Hitler.

We can go back through the Bible and find instance after instance of what appears to our human mind to be pointless destruction, persecution and evil. It began when Adam allowed a serpent to deceive him made more blatant when Cain murdered his own brother for no reason many of us could comprehend. I have to trust that God is good, even when I see evidence that may prove otherwise. Because at the end of this life, it all comes down to one thing—faith.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *