Matney: Why God? |

Matney: Why God?

Ugh! This COVID-19 pandemic is causing a lot of pain. One of the saddest stories I’m personally aware of involves the death of a 63-year-old man who lives out of state. I have been talking and praying with his local family.

To make matters worse, the man has two children and grandchildren, but because of social distancing restrictions the children cannot attend a funeral for their dad and grandfather. And, if that isn’t enough, the man’s wife has been fighting cancer and has now come down with the coronavirus also. She is now in hospice and doesn’t have too long to live.

Can it get any worse? As I talked on the phone with this man’s elderly mother, I could barely understand her through her gut-wrenching sobs as she cried, “Why couldn’t it have been me instead of him? His family needs him.” I wept with her.

As a pastor, I frequently hear those “why” questions. “If there is a God, why does he allow sickness, death, disease and suffering? Why does he allow bad things to happen to good people? I understand those questions. I’ve asked them myself. These are heart-wrenching circumstances and there seem to be very few answers to the question. In this article, I would like to briefly address the “why” and examine our options.

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When God created the world, he said it was very good. And, so that man could reach his full potential, God gave him a free will to make choices. Sadly, Adam and Eve allowed Satan into their paradise. Satan had come to steal, kill and destroy. He brought death and destruction with him. Adam and Eve listened to Satan’s deception, disobeyed God’s command and ate of the forbidden tree. When they opened the door to Satan, they opened the door to all the death and misery that came with him.

God loves his creation and he weeps with those who weep. He feels the heartache and pain in the world. Isaiah 63:9 says “In all of their distress, he was distressed.” And Hebrews 4:14-15 says “Our Great High Priest is touched with our infirmities.” God does not sit in a far-off ivory palace on a bed of ease, untouched by our human condition. He is actively at work, even in this pandemic and other sufferings, to bring about the full good he has planned for mankind.  

There will come a time when Satan will be fully and completely bound and can no longer cause sickness, death, disease and heartache. But until that time, we can be sure God feels our pain and goes through our suffering with us. May this truth help us to trust him with our future.

As God’s highest order of creation, endowed with the freedom of choice, we can be angry with God or even deny his existence. I’ve heard little children become angry with their parents and say, “I hate you!” We too can be angry with God. I have been there. And yet, are any of us in a position to be God’s judge, jury and executioner?

God can handle our anger. He has big shoulders. But we needlessly prolong our suffering when we choose to hold onto anger and offense toward God. A child feels better when he lets go of his anger with mom and dad. And, we’ll feel better too, when we acknowledge that we’re not big enough to change God, and not wise enough to always understand his ways.  

So, our other option is to acknowledge that we don’t understand, but we choose to humbly trust God. Though we may not see or understand how, God is working good out of this pandemic. Romans 8:28 says, “We know that in all things (good and bad) God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.  

Even though we may not understand God’s reasoning, we can choose to trust his love. A wonderful relationship can begin between you and God if you will go along with the slightest degree of faith, hope or love you have for the creator. He can become your father as you put your trust in him and his son, Jesus. It can start by simply saying, “I don’t understand the why, but I choose to believe in his love for me.”   

As has been said, “God is too wise to ever make a mistake, he’s too powerful to ever lose control, and he is too loving to be cruel.” In the long run, when we ask, “Why God?” our best response is to humbly place our trust in an all-wise, all-powerful and all-loving heavenly father.

As has been said, “God is too wise to ever make a mistake, he’s too powerful to ever lose control, and he is too loving to be cruel.” In the long run, when we ask, “Why God?” our best response is to humbly place our trust in an all-wise, all-powerful and all-loving heavenly father.

As we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus this weekend, my prayer is that you will place your faith in the One who has overcome all sickness, death and disease. By our trust and faith in him, we too will rise above it all and live forever in God’s forever home. 

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