I awoke today praying, praying, praying. Carrying so many burdens for others; wishing there were a rewind button for life. So many people dear to me are facing things they never thought they’d go through. Overwhelming circumstances … the kinds of things that go bump in the night. Pictures in their minds they wish they could erase; stories they wish they weren’t living. I have plenty of my own.
My pastor spoke briefly Sunday morning about the problem of evil in our world. When difficult and terrible things happen, people say, “Where’s God? How do such awful things happen if He’s all-powerful? Why doesn’t He just wipe out all evil?” And while the theological answer for that is complicated and way beyond my scope, much of that answer boils down to one thing: He IS the answer for sin. As Pastor Russ said, He came and lived here and experienced pain and suffering, so he UNDERSTANDS our pain and suffering. He also promises to BE WITH US in it; His body and blood offered up means He can live through us and walk alongside us as we go through this darkened world. Thankfully, blessedly, He also provides A WAY OUT. Someday, it will all be over. Pain and suffering will be permanently eradicated and everything will be made right.
Here’s the problem: if God were to wipe out all evil, where would that leave me? Because I’m on that list of evil-bearers. I’ve caused plenty of pain in this world and done many things to slap Him in the face. I’ve been selfish and prideful and covetous and critical. And that’s the short version of the bloggable list. Wiping out all evil in the world would mean I would cease to exist … actually, would have ceased to exist, a long time ago.
What about you?
So today I repent again for the pain I have caused people. I cry out for His mercy and grace and thank Him for covering me and for paying for it all long, long ago. I am grateful because I need Him in my life; need Him to walk alongside me and guide me and carry me sometimes. (Okay, often.) I remind myself of His promise to someday make everything right. In the meantime, I have to recall that He’s in my boat.
And for all of us who hurt, I pray. For grace. For strength and wisdom. For God to carry us all in His arms and comfort us as He alone can. I pray we are able to do as Spurgeon exhorts us here …
“Thank God, then, if you have been led by a rough road: it is this which has given you your experience of God’s greatness and lovingkindness. Your troubles have enriched you with a wealth of knowledge to be gained by no other means: your trials have been the cleft of the rock in which Jehovah has set you, as he did his servant Moses, that you might behold his glory as it passed by.” -Spurgeon
May we all see His glory in the dark.