The question was raised about the massive number of tragedies in the past few weeks and months, some of global significance and others at very personal levels.
It seems there is a lot of tragedy in our world and in our lives. The challenge is that for many it seems to be either a crisis of faith or it is exactly the opposite and becomes instead a faith builder. Where you are I cannot answer. I try to allow for these things to become faith builders. I will try to explain as I go on with this.
I must be clear, that to answer the question of ‘Where is God in all this tragedy?’ is a penultimate type question. And I freely admit greater minds than mine have attempted to answer this question and have written book length manuscripts to try to develop an answer.
With that said, I shall, over the coming weeks, attempt to give a few of my thoughts and I look forward to the street side chats that help me understand better how to develop the answer.
There is a simple answer, but completely unsatisfying to our emotional level, it is a single word that leaves us cold and unsatisfied with it as the answer. It is: SIN. It is the cause of death and things that cause death; disease, murder, war and accidents that end in tragedy. It is the cause of insanity that causes people to act in hateful ways toward each other. It is what causes relationships to breakdown, for decay and rot of our substance and bodies. And the list of the curse of sin goes on and on.
Scripture shares with us this truth in Romans 8:21-23 says: “Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption (a word pointing to sin as the problem) into the Glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now. But not only they, but we also, which have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.”
I don’t know about you, though I accept that answer, I am not happy with it. I am frustrated by this sin stuff. I want goodness and light and nothing to go wrong. The challenge for me is that I tend to see the bad and miss the good that is happening. This passage that talks about the pain of the creation as of mother in child birth as it points out the pain, also points us to the fact that there is coming a future hope of redemption.
As to the challenge of our faith, do we build it in times of doubt and darkness or do we let our faith go? I share a brief story from my journey. It was 1995 and my life was a mess, I had a business that was struggling, a friend whose son Timothy had brain cancer and a dozen other things that seemed to hang over my head saying: “Jon this God thing just is not working for you...”
I thought well the answer is to lose myself in my work and that was easy as I had my own business and all I had to do was work more and longer...
More next week,
Rev. Jon Bergen
Brechin Baptist Fellowship