God Still Isn’t Good
*Last week I started this subject with part 1:God Isn’t Good. Today is part 2 of 2.
Over the last few years, my wife and I have developed a friendship with a lady who relocated to the Atlanta area after Hurricane Katrina devastated her home and her life, not long after cancer had taken her son.
Having not been able to evacuate, on the night of the storm she woke up to a cracking noise. She stepped out of bed into a house filled with water. A tree had fallen into her bathroom. She waded across the street to her elderly neighbor’s house, which was on higher ground.
The next day, looking out her neighbor’s window, she watched the water rise to the roof of her house. She could see her possessions washing away. Parts of her house crumbled. The storm also claimed several of her pets.
Is God good?
Sometimes she still wonders, in times of deep reflection.
I could go on and on with story after story. Everyone has one or two, or three or four, or five or six. A person doesn’t have to live long before he or she starts facing disappointment, tragedy, or pain that tests the foundation of the soul. These experiences create an emotional and mental burden that’s often difficult to navigate and impossible to carry.
>Sometimes life crushes us. Sometimes life breaks us.
How does one reconcile the innate skepticism that seems to be the only consistent company during misfortune and heartache? It’s as if the steel of every soul and foundation of every person’s faith has a few hairline cracks that an experience or two can break.
This leaves me asking myself if our questions disappoint or offend God. Is it wrong to challenge his intentions, or his very nature? Is he displeased with our apparent variance of soul? With the pause in our devotion? With the rough patch in our otherwise absolute faith? How can I possibly think God is good, or wants the best for me, in the midst of the personal misery that life is peppered with?
I think it’s good to question that premise.
I know it sounds like crazy talk, but if we never wonder if God is good, how will we know?
How can we be sure if we don’t honestly ask? After all, even God’s own Son wondered about it.
While suffocating in gruesome peril on the cross, Jesus cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:45).
>Although sinless and flawless in how he lived, in this terrible moment even Jesus wondered: Is God still good?
Never has anyone questioned the premise more passionately.
The shortest verse in the Bible simply states, Jesus wept. But perhaps even more potent is what we hear in his words on the cross about being forsaken.
So here we are, left to live on, trying to figure it out, still wondering if it’s wrong. So many times I’m stuck in the thick of needing solace and healing, and it doesn’t arrive.
So many times I find myself with raised fist damning God in my heart because I think he isn’t good. I so much want to sort this out, return, and mature. How do we make sense of it and put it all back together?
There’s often a range of emotions I have to sift through before I’m willing to consider that God is good again. Sometimes I go through several. Sometimes it’s just one. If the pain is deep, I’ll wade through them all. And within this gap, there’s much that can undermine my faith.
Yes, question and doubt. But pursue.
The point is: never give up and I never give in.
Read all these related posts in order here: