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Reconciling the Goodness of God in the Presence of Evil

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In the book, “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years” by Donald Miller (copyright 2009 by Donald Miller; Thomas Nelson Publishing), the author talks about his friend, Kathy. Her relationship with God had been seriously damaged by years of hardship. She hung out on the periphery of God for a while until she reached a point where she was ready to let him go altogether. Kathy eventually traveled to Rwanda where she toured the genocide museum in the capital city of Kigali. As she made her way through the exhibits and learned about the events leading up to the genocide she was emboldened in her belief that God only created us to let us “march around in our own misery.” She prayed, “You’re supposed to be good. What are you good for?”

 
She then visited a church where Tutsis had taken refuge during the massacre thinking they would be safe there. They were not. Men came in with machetes and slaughtered those hiding inside. The skulls of the victims were still piled against the wall, bloody clothes hung from the walls, and bones had been laid out as a memorial. In that moment, she was ready to hate God forever but instead of anger, something else happened. Kathy felt overwhelming tenderness as God whispered to her heart:

“This is what happens when people walk away from me, Kathy. I have brought you to this place to show you something important. This is what happens when my compassion and love leave a place.”

 

This is so appropriate for us as we are reminded of the events of 9/11. I remember that day so clearly – where I was when I heard about it on my car radio; where I was sitting when the first tower fell and how I immediately left to bring our two older kids home from school. I also recall finding my oldest son (8-years-old) lying on the floor in our bedroom crying one evening. When I knelt down beside him and asked him what was wrong, I can remember him saying through his tears, “All those people . . . it’s just so sad.” His little heart was crushed by the stories of extreme suffering.

The presence of evil has such a devastating impact on so many. It causes us to question God’s existence and ask him, “Why?”

God is powerful and He is good – oh so good. When He created us, He chose to give us the freedom to make choices.  He did this because a true love relationship with him must include free will. Otherwise, it’s just manipulation.

By giving us free will, God allows us to choose whether to believe he exists or not – to belong to him or not – to follow him or not – to live by his principles or not – to obey him or not – to let him live in and through us or not.

When people choose their own way apart from God, there is a void in the human heart. God is absent. In this void is a breeding ground for evil. However, when we put our faith in Jesus Christ, God is present in us. As we trust Him and follow His example, His character and attributes become increasingly visible in us. His light dispels the darkness and His good overcomes evil within us.

God is compassion and comfort.

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion, and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

God is kind.

“But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.” Titus 3:4

God is good.

“For the Lord is always good. he is always loving and kind, and his faithfulness goes on and on to each succeeding generation.” Psalm 100:5 . . . and this is the short list!

Do you believe God is good even when evil exists? How can God demonstrate His goodness in the world as He lives in and through you? What can you do to overcome evil with good?  

With great confidence in the character of God . . .

Lisa~

2 Comments

  1. Reblogged this on kitchiekomos365 and commented:

    In light of the movie theater shooting, I’m reblogging a post from The Warming House. Hope this helps.

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