Facebook conversations, comments at the grocery store and questions in our own home - today these questions are not simply "why", but they have evolved into "why did God let this happen?"
What a hard, very hard question. I know I sit up a little straighter just hearing God questioned at all.
My husband is a studier. On days when I am very content reading the Psalms, he is diving into the next Peter Kreeft book on the Problem of Evil.
I am very much an "accept faith like a child" and he is very much a "know every single argument and answer until you can recite it in your sleep".
The older I become, I realize that he is truly the one who is most capable of facing cynical hearts when true crisis happens.
Here is what I can tell you:
- This question has been around for centuries.
- Wise, faithful people have asked the same questions.
- They have found answers. We do not have to start from scratch.
Epicurus, Hume, St. Thomas Aquinas and Kant are just a few names of philosophers who dove into the same questions.
One of my husband's favorite authors, who has studied theologians of centuries past is Peter Kreeft.
From Peter Kreeft:
A third part of the solution to the problem of evil is the most important part: how to resolve the problem in practice, not just in theory; in life, not just in thought. Although evil is a serious problem for thought (for it seems to disprove the existence of God), it is even more of a problem in life (for it is the real exclusion of God). But even if you think the solution in thought is obscure and uncertain, the solution in practice is as strong and clear as the sun: it is the Son. God's solution to the problem of evil is his Son Jesus Christ. The Father's love sent his Son to die for us to defeat the power of evil in human nature: that's the heart of the Christian story. We do not worship a deistic God, an absentee landlord who ignores his slum; we worship a garbageman God who came right down into our worst garbage to clean it up. How do we get God off the hook for allowing evil? God is not off the hook; God is the hook. That's the point of a crucifix.
The Cross is God's part of the practical solution to evil. Our part, according to the same Gospel, is to repent, to believe, and to work with God in fighting evil by the power of love. The King has invaded; we are finishing the mop-up operation.
Before I wrap up possibly the "heaviest" of all posts I have written on my personal blog, I want you to know this more than anything:
It is ok to ask God "Why?". Christ even asked His Father "Why have you forsaken me?" (Matthew 27:46). It is ok to sit down and have a conversation with God and ask, why.
He may answer you in the smile of your children or in the hug of a friend or in a beautiful fall rose, but He will answer.