Life’s full of paradoxes. Especially the christian life, and especially with Good Friday and Easter. Jesus died so we can live; He takes our sin so we can be righteous. There are numerous of these in the bible: God takes the route we least expect Him to take. Nice thoughts, if we are the beneficiaries. But what if the paradox is the other way around? What if reality seems not to match the theory? What if someone (Beata) dies on the feast of the resurrection?
I do believe wholeheartedly that Jesus came to give life. I do believe wholeheartedly that God does not want anyone to suffer, to be sick or to die. But reality teaches me these things happen.
It brings me back to some very core questions that are clinging to my mind (and that of a whole lot of others, I think) for a while already. How do you bring the theoretical concept of an all-loving and all-powerful God together with the reality of suffering and death in between his children? Why does God not answer our prayers that Sara would be healed from eczema, that Tomas would not even have it from the start? Why did Beata have to die? * Charismatics have not been able to persuade me of the biblical foundation for ‘claiming’ health. * Another school of thought is found in Greg Boyd’s ‘God at War’, who states that no evil comes from God but free will of man and spiritual conflict prevent God from intervening the way He would want, thus allowing evil to touch us. It does not satisfy me because it kind of twists Gods omnipotence. * Then there is Augustine who states that both good and evil come from God – that does not satisfy me either, because it does not match Gods character as I know it from the Bible. * And the answer that there are things we cannot understand from our human perspective is the most reasonable, but this also does not satisfy me, because I believe the bible is the full revelation of God. * CS Lewis’ ‘The problem of pain’ is on my bookshelf – maybe he has a good say on it. (Although I already know he encountered this same theory-vs-reality problem himself when his wife died.)
Where is the key? Is there a key? There must be a key!
Last year I wrote a related topic on this – when reading it back, I don’t seem to have made progress. Untrue – I have progressed in many ways – maybe mostly in asking questions.
I do find hope in Brian Doerksen’s song ‘Your Faithfulness’:
I don’t know what this day will bring / Will it be disappointing, filled with longed for things?
I don’t know what tomorrow holds / Still I know I can trust Your faithfulness
I don’t know if these clouds mean rain / If they do, will they pour down blessing or pain?
I don’t know what the future holds / Still I know I can trust Your faithfulness