Where is God?
When “bad things” happen to “innocent” people, many wonder, “Where is or was God?” “If God is good and loving, why does God cause or allow such suffering?”
After my 35-year-old sister died of cancer, I was very angry at God and had those same burning questions. With a lot of prayer, reading and conversation with some wise people, I’ve come to the following conclusions:
1) God does not cause bad things to happen. The prophets and the life and teachings of Jesus and his students (disciples) demonstrate that the God whom Jesus called “Daddy” (Abba) is a God who loves and cares for all people, regardless of their background, faith, race, gender, sexual orientation, or color. Injury, disease, and death of living things, including humans, result from a variety of factors but not “God’s will,” “God’s judgment,” or God’s “making it happen.”
2) As does a loving parent, God provides us with guidance (e.g., through scripture and other readings, the life and teachings of Jesus, experiences) and the freedom to respond in love with God and with others. We often use that freedom to promote God’s healing in the world.
3) However, just as children do not always follow the wise and loving guidance of parents, so we humans do not always follow God’s law of love. We do not always treat others with the respect and kindness with which we would like to be treated. And so what we have done or left undone, said or left unsaid, often result in harm to ourselves, others, and our relationships.
Nevertheless, God is still with us, loving, calling, and empowering us to be agents of peace, reconciliation, and healing where there is fear, anger, hatred, prejudice, injustice, disease, and injuries caused by humans, weather and nature.
“Blessed are the peacemakers,” says Jesus, “for they shall be called ‘chips off the old block’ (children of God),” reflecting the love and grace of God. May it be so.
The Rev. Dianne Kareha
Diakon Chaplain at Luther Crest
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