“The Lord is my portion, says my soul. Therefore will I hope in Him.” Lamentations 3:24 NKJV
“I just can’t understand a God who would allow such suffering in the world.” I wish this statement wasn’t so annoying to me. I’ve heard it often and it’s spoken sincerely, but it’s more than overstated; it’s what I would call a cultural cliché’. I won’t deny that I haven’t pondered the problem of unmerited suffering and pain on earth. Or why did God create mosquitoes?
I think the reason this line of thinking annoys me is because it’s seldom thought out. If you don’t understand something, and you truly want the answer, wouldn’t you research it? Study it? So first you’d want to know who is God? And I’m convinced that if you are able to even partially answer that question, you would be able to sufficiently answer the bigger question. Why? Because He is God. He is “I am,” as He reveals in the book of Exodus.
Sovereign: Supreme in rule and power. Independent over all others. (Websters Dictionary).
God is sovereign as the Creator of all things. That means He can do what He wants, for whatever reason He wants. And He doesn’t have to explain it. My hunch is it would be like trying to explain molecular atomics to a pre-schooler.
All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: “What have you done?” (NIV) Daniel 4:35.
What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of (earthborn) man that You care for him?Psalm 8:4 (Amplified)
Wow. Regarded as nothing? Sometimes I think this is true. I would never ask my kids their opinion when I bought a car. I regarded their input as “nothing.” I remember when my son Spence was 14 he declared his first car would be a brand new 4 wheel drive Jeep with tinted windows. In actuality his first car was a rusted ten year old Chevy station wagon and he loved it. A new perspective comes with time and experience. But even Solomon, declared the wisest man on earth and author of Proverbs declared, “The beginning of wisdom is the fear of God.” Fear Him because He’s mean? No, God is always love. Fear Him because He’s God, and He runs the whole show, beginning to end.
Two thousand plus years ago, an unexpected package landed on earth. Emmanuel, God with us. He certainly didn’t come in a way we might have guessed. He left His heavenly throne for a cold smelly barn. The times were tough and uncertain, even hostile. Yet the babe that grew to be the man, Jesus, never promised He would take suffering from us. He walked with us for 33 years, but never explained the mystery of His sovereignty– or His suffering.
I think we have it backwards. It should not be us asking Why, but Him. Why do we still rely on ourselves and our own manufactured cheap goods when He has opened up the storehouses of heaven for those He calls His own? Why do we complain endlessly about what He has not done for us, when we reject all He has for us? Why do we rage about our suffering when He, who took the scourge, the thorns, the nails, the cross, gave it all for us?
Emmanuel. God with us. I admit I still complain sometimes and in His great longsuffering and tender mercy, He will even listen. I have sipped from the cup of bitterness with Him and also drank from the sweet fountain of His grace. He is my portion.The One who laid the foundations of the earth and formed the heavens will also bottle every tear and “joys over us with singing”.(Zephaniah3:17 KJV). God with us. Still and forever.