Questioning God - Why We Don't Understand Him!
Too often in life, we find ourselves questioning God and his loving nature. We ask, if there truly is a loving God, then why is there so much suffering? Why do people we love get sick, die, hurt? Why do people hurt other people? Why are there so many hungry children? Why is there rape, murder, hate? These are just a few of the questions we ask, due to our inability to fully understand God.
An atheist will say, there is no God, and it's pure foolishness to believe. An agnostic will say that God may exist, but He doesn't care what happens to us once we are here. Some Christians will say, we need to accept what is given to us and be joyful. But it does not matter what man says; what matters is what God says through the bible. If we want to discover the truth, we need to search for it, for "if we seek the truth, we will find it."
God Is Just Too Great To Understand
That is what I did, I searched, and I have found many truths. There are so many that I can only relay a few here. Those that I feel are most important. My first answer was when Lee Strobel questions Peter John Kreeft Ph.D., a philosophy professor at Boston College in his book The Case For Faith. Peter Kreeft explained why often we have trouble understanding God in a way that allowed me to follow Him better.
He tells a story about a hunter who found a trapped bear. The only way the hunter could set the bear free was to subject the bear to more pain by first shooting the bear full of drugs to calm the bear so that the hunter could approach. In the eyes of the bear, the hunter is harming him. In the eyes of the hunter, he is doing a necessary thing to free the bear. Once the hunter can approach the bear, he has to force the terrified bear's paw further into the trap to release it, setting the bear free. In the eyes of the bear, the hunter is doing him more harm. But in the eyes of the hunter, he is acting out of compassion. The bear can't understand the hunter’s intentions because he is too different to understand him. Just as God is not here to hurt us but to help us, but we are too different to understand Him. Could our pain and suffering help us?
Now I can think of many ways that God has helped me as a result of allowing pain and suffering, but then why are people raped? How could that help any person? So as much as this story brings me comfort, I don’t feel this fully satisfied that I have found answers to my most profound questions.
Pain On Earth, Is Such a Short Time in Eternity
Okay, so God sometimes allows pain to free us of things. To help us learn and guide us. But we need to realize where the pain is coming from. Our God is good. There is nothing bad about Him. One thing to understand about this Earth is the balance of good and evil does not regulate us. Good is not the opposite of evil. Evil only exists in the absence of good. Since God is good, evil is merely the absence of God. So why would God allow us on Earth where we have a lack of God. The short answer is we chose to be separated from God.
The moment Eve took a bite of the forbidden fruit; man had decided to separate themselves from God. But only until our death, assuming we choose to be with God in the afterlife. We have the choice to live for eternity, and our life on Earth is a mere speck in eternity. This means we will only live a short time where we will suffer pain, assuming we choose to live with God in our afterlife.
Many people will say how childbirth is the most painful experience your body can endure. Though I have experienced lots of physical pain, I have not gotten the opportunity to have a child naturally. But I do remember what my mom had to say about her own experience with childbirth. She said, at the time, it seems like it’s never going to end, but once you have that beautiful little being in your arms, it's like you forget all about the pain. It's all worth the few, or for some, many hours you are in labor.
The Brevity of Pain
Despite that, I have never had that experience; I have experienced extreme pain. Then just as quickly as it arrives, it's gone. I would forget about it, yet remember it all at the same time. I'm assuming that's what it's like minus the gorgeous baby in your arms. Then it got me thinking. In my short lifetime, I have been in and out of hospitals and in excruciating pain. Once I have gotten over these hurdles, they were a mere blink in my life. Well, I will be living for eternity. Years from now, my life on this earth will be a mere blink as well. The pain, the sorrow, the hurt: I might remember it, maybe not, but even if I do, they will be a mere memory.
Our time on earth is like the birthing process to God when this life is gone, and we are in our true home. The pains are not going to matter in the grand scheme of His excellent plan. It will be just a few seconds in our life in eternity. We’ll feel as though it was all worth it because, in the end, we'll have a beautiful existence in His presence.
We Reach Out to Him When We Are in Pain
I then began thinking about how God is a bigger and different being than us, just like we are different beings than the cub. To God, our time on earth is like a few hours in history. I believe every time we have actual pain; He's experiencing it with us. He doesn't stop us, because we need to hurt and explore, get angry and question. If we don't get mad or hurt, we won't investigate or question. We would never grow, and our time on earth would be purposeless to our birth into our new world.
Also, pain allows us to see how insignificant our life is, which is not meant to make you feel depressed but to empower God. God wants us to remember that we need Him. We can't go far in this world without His Guidance and His Help. By giving us hardships, it allows us to stop and think about our greatest need, and that is for His love, His presence, and His salvation.
One thing we often forget is God never promised us that we would be exempt from pain, just because we believe in Him. It's often the exact opposite. For instance, in John, he states, "These things have I spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)
Though I may never truly know why God allows such pain, I don't think I need to. I need to grow and develop. In the end, this is only a fragment in eternity with God, just as to a mother; the birth of her baby is just a few moments in the life she’ll have with him. Yet, still, I hurt, but it’s okay.
© 2010 Angela Michelle Schultz