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Cyclones & Earthquakes

“How could God let this happen?”
“This gives me further reason to doubt the existence of God.”

Christians may have problems answering questions about why things happen, but such events pose a bigger problem for the person who doesn’t believe in God, for they can’t even ask the questions. If there is no God, then there is no meaning to life. And it doesn’t ultimately matter if we are killed by a falling tree, or cancer, or mugged, or drowned.

If there is no God, then there is no point in asking questions. There simply would be no reason why anything happens. And there would be no standard of what is right or wrong, or fairness. But something in us cries out against such a belief.

CS Lewis wrote: “My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of ‘just’ and ‘unjust’? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust? Thus in the very act of trying to prove that God did not exist—in other words, that the whole of reality was senseless—I found I was forced to assume that one part of reality—namely my idea of justice—was full of sense.”

It turns out that evil and suffering only make sense in a world where there is a God. In fact, if anything, they are evidence for God, not against.

Argument of course isn’t much help to those in the midst of suffering. But neither is cutting off the lifeline that is God. It is only with God that we have any hope of finding a resolution to tragedy.

Tim Keller writes in his book “The Reason for God”:

“If we again ask the question: ‘Why does God allow evil and suffering to continue?’ and we look at the cross of Jesus, we still do not know what the answer is. However, we now know what the answer isn’t. It can’t be that he doesn’t love us. It can’t be that he is indifferent or detached from our condition. God takes our misery and suffering so seriously that he was willing to take it on himself.”

It is in going to Christ that we find comfort, but we find more than that. We find hope. Christ is no longer on the cross; he has risen. And the doctrine of the resurrection instils a powerful hope.

Keller writes:

“Just after the climax of the trilogy The Lord of the Rings, Sam Gamgee discovers that his friend Gandalf was not dead, but alive. He cries ‘I thought you were dead! But then I thought I was dead myself! Is everything sad going to come untrue?’ The answer of Christianity to that question is—yes. Everything sad is going to become untrue and it will somehow be greater for having once been broken and lost. This is the ultimate defeat of evil and suffering. It will not only be ended but so radically vanquished that what has happened will only serve to make our future life and joy infinitely greater.”

This brighter future is found only in Jesus.