Does God even care about the injustice in this world? Or does He just turn a blind eye to the wrongs in our lives?

The worn down wooden pew beckoned me as if it might shed light on the question that I just couldn’t shake.
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The question wasn’t anything new, it was a dispute as old as time.
And I thought I had tread that question’s path well over the years.
Much like the well worn path a cow makes on his daily trek to drink water.
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But yet, once again, it splintered into my life unbeckoned and this soul of mine would not rest.

God, if you really are real, if you really are all powerful, then why don’t you make the evil of this world go away?
God, if you really care, then why do you let people suffer? Why not answer their deepest yearnings?

God, if you say you love me, then why did you let me suffer years upon years of prayers unanswered?

You see, the Sunday before Lent began, ISIS beheaded 21 Egyptian Christians.
70 days later, as the beheadings continue, it still sickens my stomach.

How can such cruelty exist in this world, and it’s like He just turns a blind eye to it all?
At least it seems that way often enough for the seeds of doubting Him to be planted.

And as I ponder my own unanswered prayers, I began to feel the seeds of doubt take further hold of my soul.

So is it any wonder that during the lesson on Ash Wednesday…that when the pastor asks…

…if there is no one else there at the finish line but Him…no loved ones previously passed on…just Jesus…would it be enough?

And my honest answer was…I don’t really know Lord that you are enough. Because right now, you don’t seem very loving, seem very close, or seem to even care about the woes of this world.

For how could a God who cared let injustice happen in this world? Let injustice happen to those who praise His name?

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So does any of this matter to Him? Does He ever show up to rescue His beloved?

You.
Tell.
Me.

Has He ever taken you from the broken down to the lifted up? Does He send a friend with a hug’s comfort right when needed most? What about that time on your knees in a hospital waiting room…did He not show up then with a kind word from a stranger?

So as I pondered the questions and doubts of my soul, I read His word with one question presiding over every page…
Show me who you are God.

Show me God that you are real. Show me that you care about humanity. Show me that our sufferings are not in vain.

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As I make my way through Genesis and into Exodus it is uncanny, supernatural, what I read on these pages.
For how many times does He show me that he never leaves us, never forgets his promises, and always hears our hearts’ groanings.

When Joseph is sold into slavery, is lied against, is wronged time & time again…God uses it all for good.

When Pharaoh engulfed the lives of the Israelite in slavery, God heard their cries, saw their affliction, and most importantly….
He remembered HIS covenant to never leave them.
“Go in to Pharaoh…so that I may show you all the wonders of my hand…that you may know that I am the Lord”  Exodus 10: 1&2

All of these stories teach me…

God doesn’t use injustice simply for unbelievers to know He is the Lord.
He also uses injustice to remind believers He is Lord.

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 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you.
{When life gets too hard and you feel the waters engulfing you, stay strong that the tide will not carry you away}
When you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.
{When the muck & mire of grief feel like a cow’s bellowing when writhed in labor pains…you will not be consumed by this tragedy}
For I am the LORD your God…and you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you.  Isaiah 43: 2-4

Although the season of Lent may have passed over, I find myself in deep reflections and in even deeper readings.
Good can come from our doubts and our questions, when they delve us further into scripture.

So the reward of asking questions, of searching to know and understand Him better, is that He does show up.
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne…and find grace to help in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16
He longs to shower you with grace, so approach Him, approach His word, approach Him in prayer… with confidence.

If you seek the face of the Lord, you will find His beauty.
He wants to answer your questions and He desires for you to know Him more fully.
He longs for you and He wants you to long for Him, as Lord of your life.

jessica

 

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  1. Julia Buckner says:

    If you walk past the piano at Shiloh Baptist Church, there’s a little room on the right where you’ll remember that our theological education started. It was here that we learned to love the lord and fell in love with felt board characters. Aunt Diann and Granny Jones would tell us stories about Noah’s Ark, Jonah and the Whale, and Jesus in the manger. And, although we were baptist and couldn’t dance or play cards, we could sing. And so we did. We sang Jesus loves the little children, and He’s got the whole world in his hands, and Be Careful Little ears what you hear. And somewhere in the middle of all those songs, we were taught, like all good little church kids were, three central truths about God.

    God is all loving…omnibenevolent
    God is all powerful…omnipotent
    God is all knowing…omniscient

    Think about that for a minute.

    God is all loving: Jesus loves the little children, All the little children of the world. Red, Yellow, Black and white, they are precious in his sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world.

    How cool is that? God loves ALL of us.

    God is all powerful: He’s got the whole world, in his hands. He’s got the whole world, in his hands. He’s got the whole world, in his hands. He’s got the whole world in his hands.

    Wow! God hods the whole world in his hands!

    God is all knowing: Be careful little ears what you hear. Be careful little ears what you hear. For the Father up above is looking down with love, Be careful little ears what you hear……..

    Holy Crapola, the Father can hear what I hear? Can see what I see? Can know what I do?

    The trouble is… We didn’t stay in that Sunday School room. We grew up and so too did our understanding and our faith. The question you’re asking in this post is one of theodicy. In other words.. If God really is all loving, all powerful, and all knowing like they taught us in church.. then how in the world can bad things happen to good people.. Or better yet, why do bad things happen to good people.. or why would God allow these things like ISIS or the Holocaust?

    Our central question really is.. um, wait a minute, if God isn’t all powerful, all knowing, all loving then what does that say about God… or better stated.. what, if anything, can we say about God at all.

    And so… here we have a good stepping off point for theologians.. some will say we can’t say anything, some will say God is dead, some will say we understand God too much in human terms, etc, etc, etc…

    anyway, those are my two thoughts on the subject this morning.. google holocaust theology for a good little summary of what people think ..

    also, your use of a cow in labor means that i will never hear Isaiah 43 again the same way… i guess that mama cow really does feel like she is walking thru fire..

  2. Lindsay says:

    Jessica,

    It’s so funny that you and I ended up writing about doubt within days of each other when this is the first time I have read this post. I do believe we doubt because God has a completely different perspective than we do, one that’s much bigger than our logical and limited worldly understanding.

    As we lean into God, we get glimpses of His beauty and the ways He uses all things for good and His glory…And I keep reminding myself…

    “He will wipe every tear from their eyes.
    Death will be no more;
    mourning and crying and pain will be no more,
    for the first things have passed away.” Revelation 21:4

    Hugs,
    Lindsay

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