Why Does God Allow ___?

I’m sure that a lot of people who have seen and know me have the impression that I am in a constant state of befuddlement. Truth is, I am always open to the wonder and complexity of life, and almost always trying to comprehend it.

I’m amazed at how the interaction of opposing elements creates newness and innovation; how vital it is that there is difference so that there can not only be conflict, but also resolution and harmony and growth. So I see the wisdom of God in having both good and evil within His will, even though His will is only good.

Without evil, good cannot be shown for what it truly is, and vice-versa.

Without good and evil, there can be no real choice that builds our character and forms our souls.

Without good that leads to life conflicting with evil that leads to death, there can be no ultimate victory that glorifies God and displays His magnificent brilliance. For it is His wisdom that brought something out of nothingness, filled it with life yet made it temporary, and made its capstoning creation intelligent and rational and capable of choice — of creating and/or destroying. It is His Word that brought man to life, and when we chose evil and death resulted, His Word — through His own death and return to life — brought endless life back to all through the power to choose.

I sympathize with those who ask, “Why does God allow ___?” It is a foundational mystery about the character and nature of God. The answer I’ve been able to discern seems too simple to answer such a complex question of theodicy. It probably is.

To me, any word that fills that blank is a synonym for “brokenness.”

Our world is broken.

It may not be much of a comfort, but I believe God allows evil and death and darkness and hatred and suffering so we can see them for what they are, because they contrast so definitively with what we want — what He intends and wants for us — good and life and light and joy and peace. It is small comfort, but I believe that’s why evil and death are not His will, but allowing them is within His will. His will is goodness and life.

He wants us to see them for what they are.

He wants us to choose between them, and choose wisely.

He wants usto be part of His restoration of everything to the perfect state in which He created it — for good, for life, forever.

3 thoughts on “Why Does God Allow ___?

  1. Here is part of what I recently wrote to a hurting friend after telling her about my struggles with my wife’s disability and my own battle with a blood disease that has caused me arthritic pain and bone spurs in my ankles and wrists …

    These past years have been difficult ones for both Ann and I. Yet in this season I have begun to realize that, for me anyways, God has not been involved to the degree that I once thought that he was. In a sense I have taken a more deistic view of God and don’t see him directly involved in my pain. Even so, I still pray and still seek his will for me in this season. And I still seek to walk out what I read in the gospels every day.

    I guess what this new thinking has allowed me to do, in part anyway, is to embrace God’s love differently. I have found a way to separate the cause of my pain from God but not in a schizophrenic way. I guess I see his sovereignty more in a macro (whole world) sense than a micro (narcissistic me) sense. I hate what has happened to Ann and me but see it more as the result of a fallen world than a fallen God.

    • I still believe that God cares for and loves us at the personal, micro-level. I still believe that He sometimes heals in an answer to prayer; that His sovereignty is so complete that He can bend His will and still accomplish His ends. I have given up requiring that I understand how that all works or why it only seems to sometimes. I just believe. He is as close as I will let myself come to Him. Still, He says “no” to many of my prayers. I trust Him. He knows the outcomes of all the possibilities. And He knows how much it can hurt.

      He said “no” to His Son in a garden.

      So I believe He knows how much it can hurt to hear “no,” as well.

      • I trust Him too Keith. My first wife was healed of blindness in one of her eyes so I fully embrace the idea that He can do wonderful and miraculous things.

        Yet I no longer feel a need to believe that he is involved in pain in a causal or permitting way. My view is that God gave up a bit of his sovereignty, at a micro level, when he made man in His image. Yet I also think that He retains sovereignty at a macro level and is able to work things together for our good. I no longer believe that He is a fallen God who causes or permits bad things to happen but understand better that we live in a fallen world that He created as good.

        IMO, the issue in suffering is not a fallen God but a fallen man.

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