My Response to the Problem of Evil


Originally posted in Nepaenglish.com by Prasha

Well, I just want to share some of the things that I have been struggling and learning in the face of what is happening at Haiti right now. I have found myself being asked this question, “Why your all good, all powerful and all loving God is making evil things happen.” And I like any of you resort to the Bible and/or book written by philosophers and theologians. So, I have been reading a book called When Bad things happen to Good People by Harold Kushner. He is a rabbi from Massachusetts, and he wrote this book in honor of his son, Aaron who he lost to a very rare disease called Progeria. I’m reading this book not because I’m a good person and a really bad thing happened to just recently. Anyway, he writes that- he has been a sensitive pastor, a mature counselor because of his son’s death. He grew spiritually and he can relate to many people in similar circumstances. But, he could forgo all those gains if he were to get his son back. But he cannot choose that.

This also reminds of some of our well meaning pastors who when visiting their terminally ill parishioners try to comfort their similar questions of ‘why’ with very insensitive statements. They request the victim to weigh what he has gained through this, and see how this has brought his family together and so forth. But, really no greater purpose that God might have for this person outweigh what he is currently going through. A person’s life to our human mind is way too precious for us than the lessons we may have.

So, Kusher further says that may be we are asking the wrong questions, “Why this has happened to me?” We really need to let go of these questions and not focus on the past and on the pain. But really now that this has happened, how do we respond to this situation and look on to the future?

Surely, God may not prevent a calamity like the earthquake in Haiti as some of my friends have said that this is a natural consequence to years of poor governance and bad decisions of the Haitian people. Yet, there are people going out there risking their lives, saving lives of people who are total strangers to them, and rebuilding this community that has almost demolished. And these strength and perseverance qualify as acts of God. Because they could not just have come from people, there must be an outer source who gives us these emergent qualities.

And hence I do not have to answer these people who try to challenge my faith. I do not have to answer these questions with my limited intelligence. Because it is not my intelligent answers that save people but actually the response in action for we are God’s workmanship created in advance to do good works (Eph. 2:10). And I look at people around and see how you all are involved in rebuilding lives of many and certainly that mission and vision to serve is from God.

Having said all this, I still struggle with God’s quietness and then I look at the verse that all my professors and pastor have shown me: Deuteronomy 29:29- The secret things belong to the Lord our God, and what have been revealed belong to us and our children forever. Any thoughts?

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