A tiny little virus from China has brought the whole world to a standstill. Did we ever expect that we would end up seeing such a dreadful time when we are scared to even look at our neighbors? Having one’s family intact with us in the same house during this lockdown is a great blessing because we feel secured and in control. But during this one full week of staying inside the house alone, while my loved ones are away in a far off country, and my son working as an internal medicine doctor during this troublesome time, I am still learning that one can choose to live in fear, or choose to live in faith in the presence of God who alone can give rest to our troubled soul.
Let us turn to the question that we have been discussing:- why do we face struggle and pain when there is a good God? Today let us see only a small portion, and I will take it forward in my next posting.
The popular belief is that – you get what you deserve. If you sow evil, you will reap evil. That is why many believe that those who suffer trauma and face struggles are being punished for some wrongdoing. But this is not always true. In the Bible, we find the story of a righteous man called Job that challenges this paradigm and encourages us to look at the world through God’s eyes. When we read the 1st to 3rd chapter of Job from the Bible, we come across Job, who was seen sitting in ashes scratching his body after losing his wealth, health, and children on one single day. And then, as we read from chapter 4th to 31st, we encounter the conversation of Job with his three close friends, Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar, about the meaning and reason of suffering. His friends were called as bad comforters as they sat with him, arguing that his suffering was basically a punishment for his sin, for God causes no one to suffer innocently. As per them, Job’s extraordinary suffering can only be explained as the punishment of God for a grievous sin. Job was seen as defending his position that he had not committed any grievous sin on the basis that there is good evidence from the history that the wicked often prosper and the righteous suffer (21:29–30). However, his friends’ speeches became repetitive and hostile, and finally, in Job 42:7, God looks Job’s three friends and rebukes them. He said to Eliphaz: “My wrath is kindled against you and against your two friends; for you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has.”
Though Job did not get the answer to his question- why the righteous suffer? – we can understand that though all suffering need not be a punishment for sin, it awakens one’s ear to new dimensions of God’s reality and new depths of their own imperfection and deepening their faith and godliness.
Since we cannot find a direct answer to this question of evil and suffering, it remains a mystery until we get a direct revelation from God Himself. We also encounter many end-time prophecies and warnings whenever such a horrible plague strikes us or when we confront natural disasters. But the Bible says that we ought to live expecting the second coming of Jesus not only in bad times but also in good times. In Matthew 24:44, Jesus clearly says that you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. So end time prophecies are for all times of history and not only during plague times.
Then finally, what is the reason for such an epidemic? That is reserved for the next post, but meanwhile, I want to present before you the question – Has God made us like robots? If you think deeply, you will understand that God has given you and me free will to choose between good and bad; to choose God or not to choose Him. Is it right to invoke God at the time of evil? Why is it not that we search for God when everything is going well? Why dont we shout even in our good times – O Lord, Where are you? I miss You. And I need You.
God says If you seek ME, you will find ME. Might be we should directly ask HIM to speak to us today. He alone can answer this question of suffering.
When the loving Father chose to make us in His very own image to have fellowship with us day and night, why not we accept His love and love Him back as He ought to be loved and worshiped?