I think God gets blamed for things He doesn’t do.
Many think if God is sovereign–all powerful–why do we suffer?
Especially if He’s already won?
Why doesn’t He stop things?
In my first job out of college–teaching in the California women’s prison, the number one question I was asked was, “If there’s a loving God why did He allow what happened to me as a child?”
It’s taken 40 years to come up with a good answer, and I call it The Story Behind Our Story.
I made it the last chapter in my book, The Worst Evil–Losing Yourself, and truly, I told it as faithfully as I could through human eyes. The gist of it is that God values love and freedom. He wanted a government based on love and that requires freedom.
Love is a choice, not a feeling. And it requires three things:
1. beings capable of making choices
2. real alternatives to choose
3. that God allow and honor their choices.
It’s important to note here that God started us out with only good–we were only attracted to good, only responded to good.
Originally we didn’t have this pull to evil or selfishness. Now we respond to good and evil. We’re pulled both ways.
So what happened? If we were only good…why is there evil now?’
First, we have to learn to think much bigger than we have been taught.
We have to understand that if God desired only Love, then He had to allow freedom.
We have to be allowed real choices that are really respected.
Creation was great until He was opposed, but then He had to allow the whole thing to play out.
Because the entire universe needed truth to be evident to all.
I’m sure that God tried over and over to reclaim the dissident–show him where he was headed, what would happen if he insisted doing his own thing.
But once evil is embraced, it takes hold –like cancer–it destroys good.
The war was on.
Now the question arose: who is responsible?
If God had completely separated from the opposition, they would have died.
But the whole watching universe would have wondered who caused their demise?
Enter, the developmental model.
The plan to give creatures procreation was a great stage for the truth to become obvious. It’s my belief that it was already a design in God’s mind, as another means of showing love. But now, though extremely risky, it was also the most powerful demonstration of good and evil choices.
If we embrace love we hand it down to our offspring–even with broken natures.
If we embrace evil we hand it down to our offspring with its resulting death.
Again, we were started out good–with freedom.
Choices become the building blocks of our identity (also known as character).
Twenty-plus years as a Family Systems Therapist proved to me that generations usually repeat their dysfunctions. Sometimes getting better, sometimes getting worse.
Perception is a choice. There are always two ways, at least, to see things. But evil is resident here.
I like things simple. So I believe the Genesis story. And how exciting that science is catching up to endorsing it!
If evil moved in with Eve’s choice, then the Garden went from 99% good and 1% evil to 50% good and 50% evil.
God put a boundary on evil inside of us. He gave us a hatred for it. (Genesis 3:15) So I believe that it has to keep balanced unless we choose or agree with one or the other.
God doesn’t want us to be afraid. He will keep safe what is His. But He won’t force you to be his friend. Neither will He force you to heal your brokenness.
The good news is God is always looking for ways to get through to you, to show you His Love. He doesn’t give up until you can’t hear or see Him anymore, until you truly are “done” with Him. And He is the only one who really knows when that is.
If you need a bigger, better picture of God, and suffering, come to my blog for five minutes a day. In a year you will have the most compact and comprehensive picture of God available. http://Godhelps.net/God-in-a-Box