22. May 2013 · 2 comments · Categories: Faith

As I read through the numerous prayers and prayer requests concerning the tornado in Oklahoma this week, I came across a very thoughtful, and respectful statement by an atheist. He sincerely pointed out his belief that situations like this make believing in God impossible and slightly ridiculous. How could an omniscient, all-powerful God allow a tornado to hit a school and kill innocent children? How could Christians then praise that same God for saving the life of one elderly woman's dog? How could you praise the saving of the dog as an answered prayer, when the prayers of so many parents obviously went unanswered?

 

How indeed.

 

If I could talk with this man face to face, I would tell him that these are questions that tear at the hearts of many Christians when things like this happen. We have no quick answers. Many of us are not placated by the idea that tragedies like this one are “for the best” or that they fit into some grand plan. We, too, are angry and hurt and questioning. Believing in God is not easy in times like these. Very few would have the audacity to comfort one of those grieving parents with platitudes. And I would challenge my fellow believers to think twice before giving miracle status to the saving of a dog when there are lost children nearby.

 

And yet, we believe.

 

We believe that a loving God, the same God that seemingly did nothing during the tornado, is stirring the hearts of believers and non-believers alike to rush to the aid of those in peril. We believe that we love a loving and caring God, even in the face of these inexplicable disasters.

 

I cannot explain how this can be for every Christian, why each one is able to believe in the midst of these disasters. I can only explain for me.

 

I believe that God rarely steps into this world to miraculously change events. If He did so, then surely the sex trafficking of children, babies even, would not happen. For whatever reason, things have been set in motion and part of that motion includes hurt and unspeakable evil.

 

And yet, I believe.

 

As I sat and thought of that man's post and his challenging questions – an illustration came to my mind.

 

Many seeds were scattered on the ground and covered by dirt. There was no light and seemingly no hope. Then, one by one, they began to burst open and transform. They did not understand and they could not know what the result of this rupturing would be.

 

After a few weeks, a beautiful flower garden burst forth above the ground. It contained some of the most incredible and beautiful flowers ever to be seen. Although the seeds could not see what their destruction had created, the flowers knew from where they had come. They appreciated the sacrifice that the seeds had made yet could never understand.

 

I believe that we are both the seeds and the flowers. I believe that there is another phase of existence for us. I do not believe that I can understand the pain I have been through, or the pain that I have caused, or the pain that I have born witness to, in this current phase. It is not how things are. But I believe that this is but the beginning of my growth.

 

I believe, and I can't rationally explain it, that one day we will understand. I believe we will find a God who felt every ounce of sadness we have experienced. I believe that I will understand, someday.

 

But for now I am to love as many people as I come into contact with. I am to help the broken survive, I am to fight the evil, and I am to love. I am not to seek answers that cannot be found below ground, where the transformation occurs. I am to exist in faith, believe, and love with action.

 

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