Recent road trips have given me enough time to finish Know Why You Believe, as well as three fiction works that have been gathering dust on a bookshelf since last summer. Not much writing, though. The scales will tip in the other direction next week when Spring Break is over and the kids go back to school.
The final chapters of Know Why You Believe addressed the following questions: Do science and scripture agree? Why does God allow suffering and evil? Does Christianity differ from other world religions? is Christian experience valid?
These chapters were all interesting to me, but I found my mind settling on the chapter about suffering and evil. The chapter proposed several logical explanations for the abundance of suffering and evil. The first problem is humanity and free will. God created us so that we could make choices on our own (otherwise, the book points out, we would be like programmed robots.) Simply put, we often make bad choices. But, this doesn’t explain everything.
Other times, God allows us to suffer in order to build our character. He sees something in us that can only become stronger through suffering. (It makes me think of muscle soreness after a strenuous workout and how builds muscle. Although, I have to confess that my muscle growth is stunted, as I generally avoid such workouts J)
Another interesting aspect addressed is evil, and Satan himself. I admit that I’ve often wondered why God doesn’t just get rid of Satan, since God is so much more powerful. The book explained that one day, God will eradicate evil – ALL evil. (Unfortunately, that means us, too.) It does make sense that he can’t pick and choose which evil to end.
I haven’t killed anyone, but in my life, I have stolen, said hurtful things, cursed, and lied (very poorly.) It seems reasonable that there isn’t a ‘safe zone’ of sin that will give us a free pass when God does eliminate evil. But, God already thought of that and sent Jesus. It’s up to us to ask forgiveness.
I may drop to my knees,
But will carry on.
I trust He will not crush me,
But make my spirit strong.
When I think it’s too much,
And plead for relief,
He may decide it’s not enough –
His plans are bigger than me.
How do you approach pain and suffering in your life?