Where was God?!

Posted: December 17, 2012 by Dillon in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

My last post was met with some remarks wondering where God was in the tragedy.  Or where God is anytime injustice occurs.  Or where God is whenever there is a starving child.  I’m going to attempt to answer.  Or you can skip what I say and check out the CARM article instead.

Simply put, God is always present.  It’s part of who He is.  God is present in good times and bad, during tragedies and during celebrations.  All you have to do is look at the beauty of a sunset or at your amazingly unique fingerprints to understand that God is always present. So if God is always present, what stopped Him from interceding and preventing tragedies?

I’m going to appeal to C.S. Lewis for this one.  Lewis has written about these and many other emotional roadblocks concerning God in his book Mere Christianity.  This particular quote is from another of Lewis’ books, The Case for Christianity.

God created things which had free will. That means creatures which can go wrong or right. Some people think they can imagine a creature which was free but had no possibility of going wrong, but I can’t. If a thing is free to be good it’s also free to be bad. And free will is what has made evil possible. Why, then, did God give them free will? Because free will, though it makes evil possible, is also the only thing that makes possible any love or goodness or joy worth having. A world of automata -of creatures that worked like machines- would hardly be worth creating. The happiness which God designs for His higher creatures is the happiness of being freely, voluntarily united to Him and to each other in an ecstasy of love and delight compared with which the most rapturous love between a man and a woman on this earth is mere milk and water. And for that they’ve got to be free.  Of course God knew what would happen if they used their freedom the wrong way: apparently, He thought it worth the risk. (…) If God thinks this state of war in the universe a price worth paying for free will -that is, for making a real world in which creatures can do real good or harm and something of real importance can happen, instead of a toy world which only moves when He pulls the strings- then we may take it it is worth paying.”

It’s rather long, but Lewis really does answer these questions.  For God to be wholly good, He cannot strip away our free will; suppressing our free will would be fundamentally not good.  Unfortunately, this also means God must allow fallen men (as we are all fallen) to make mistakes.  Sometimes, as we saw on Friday, these choices result in the loss of life.  But we have to remember, the reason we do and continually make terrible decisions is because of how broken we are.  I am just as broken as a man who decides to murder children.  The difference between the two of us is that I have found the only strength that can break me away from the shackles of sin: grace.

Why did God not intervene and stop the killing?  No one can say with complete certainty, but I have a theory.  God is letting us have what we want.  We continually want to live for ourselves and not for God.  We constantly want to do what makes us happy, what seems easiest.  God, much like a parent, may say, “You really wanna do that?  Fine.  Do what you want.  But don’t blame me if it doesn’t work out.”  This does NOT mean any of the children deserved what happened!  But it is a sign of how broken we are and how desperately we need a savior.

God was there in the tragedy.  God was there to give teachers strength they never knew they had.  God was there to keep the children going.  God is there right now with the grieving families.  God doesn’t leave us.

  1. Jaxion says:

    I agree with you and Lewis in this case. I think free will allows this, but, without it what are we?

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