When Bad Things Happen to People . . .

If you are like me, you have known many people who have died of cancer or some other terminal illness.  You may have known people who have been injured in an automobile or industrial accident.  You may know a person whose child was born with a birth defect.  You may have wondered, “Where is God during my suffering?”  “Why did He not spare me this calamity?”  “Why did God visit this tragedy upon me and my family, friend, co-worker, etc?”

What I have come to accept as truth is that often humans put too much of the blame and responsibility on God.  Of course, God’s power can displace any and all sources of suffering.  Yet, God, through creation, put all the natural laws into being, from the laws of gravity to the laws of medical science.  To expect God to magically take away the source of our pain is expecting God to disregard His own laws.

I do not claim to be a physician, but I do understand that there can be many causes for terminal illness such as cancer.  Taking lung cancer as an example, from time to time the cause of the cancer is related to making inappropriate choices in lifestyle, such as smoking, or second-hand smoke.  Lung cancer can also be caused by breathing in asbestos particles.  It can also be caused by genetic triggers, possibly stemming from lifestyles choices of our ancestors many, many years ago and passed along to progeny.  (I only single out lung cancer because it has struck my family several times.)

My point is, God did not smoke those cigarettes.  God did not puff asbestos particles into John’s lungs at the jobsite.  Who knows what our ancestors were doing a thousand years ago that caused the genetic pre-disposition for lung cancer?  In all of these cases, for the individual who relies on God, God can provide comfort and a promise of a better world as the illness progresses.

As for all the countless automobile accidents, it usually takes at least two drivers.  Perhaps one driver was too distracted by the moments of life to listen to the still, soft voice of God.

I assert that most of the physical suffering of an individual can be traced back to humanity in some form, not the wrath of God.

Can God take away the suffering?  By all means!  However, the solution may include annihilation of the earth in the process.

There is much more I would like to say, but the main points are here.  One thing we can always rely on is the ever-present “peace that passes all human understanding.”  Have faith.

 

W.S.

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