Why the Paradox?

“Why Lord? Why are you letting this happen?” I look around at news of the Covid-19 pandemic, cancers, fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, Iowa’s derecho wind, earthquakes, riots, persecutions around the world, plus other illnesses and tragedies.

My heart goes out in compassion to one who said to me, “If there is a God, and if He is good like you say, why all this?”

Can anyone, even one with a strong faith in God, answer this question? I know there is a God and that He is good. Yet how can I, effectively, explain my beliefs to another?

Yes, there is rampant evil in the world. And yes, God is all-powerful, loving and good. So what is going on? Why the paradox? How do we reconcile these opposites?

One reason for the paradox is that we don’t know everything. God can see things through many more dimensions than we can. He can use evil for good in ways we may never see.

God doesn’t cause evil. And He is able to stop it when He deems best. How many times does God stop evil when we don’t realize it? One person told me of a tornado headed straight for their house; while they were praying, the tornado split and went on both sides of the house not causing any damage to it, while the area all around them was devastation and destruction.

Another example: When I was a child, we attended a prayer service for rain when the drought was destroying all crops; before the service was over, we heard “showers of blessings,” i.e. heavy soaking rain, and the crops were saved. Also, numerous times I sensed God prevented me from having an accident.

God is all-wise and all-loving and will do what is best. We don’t know what goes on behind the scenes, so we just need to trust that God is somehow using the evil for good.

For instance, many Christians put their own lives in danger in order to help people in tragedies and disasters. (Think of the Franklin Graham Rapid Response teams helping in many disasters and they and numerous Christian missionaries around the world helping people sick with Covid-19; think also of Christians who helped the sick during the Bubonic Plague in the middle ages).

Missionaries in other countries find more people are reaching out to Jesus Christ because of the persecutions by violent sects.

And because of the Christians, many come to know God as a loving Father and Christ as Savior. They become Christians and gain eternal life.

C.S. Lewis said, in The Problem of Pain, “God whispers to

us in our pleasures, speaks to our consciences, but shouts

in our pain; it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” (91).

So if God uses our pain and suffering to speak to us—, is that not good? The main goal of a person should be to live in harmony with God, obeying and submitting to Him.

C. S. Lewis also said, “What is good in any painful

experience is, for the sufferer, his submission to the will

of God, and, for the spectators, the compassion aroused

and the acts of mercy to which it leads.” (110).

I would love for you to tell me some examples of how God has worked for good in your lives. May He bless you and give you grace for every need.

Judith Vander Wege

October 5, 2020

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