WHY MUST THE
taken at the Cemetery
at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa, Doylestown PA 12/10/2015
will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any
death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the
first things have passed away." (Revelation
was visiting friends a while back. We
were catching up on our lives and the conversation turned to the topic of my
faith in God. The husband (I'll
call him "John") spoke of volunteering in a church men's group.
So I was surprised when he said that he was raised as a Catholic, but he
doesn't believe in God. It turns out, John watched his younger brother die
after a painful, losing battle with an illness. "How could God let my brother
suffer and die?" he asked.
I could think of was that some people make it a mission in their lives to
somehow make their loved one's tragic death more meaningful, such as by taking
up the cause to do research that can end disease, raising money or raising
awareness, and so on.
I could not offer a satisfactory answer to appease my friend. I
made a vow to myself that I was going to search for an answer that could
hopefully satisfy this brother's distraught heart.
think it might have been different if John's brother had been older when he
died, but he was just a kid. Too
innocent, too young to have "deserved" such a death.
we believe that we are entitled to a life free of hardship, suffering or pain?
Do we believe that only "bad" people should experience suffering, and that
the innocent should be exempt?
did a lot of searching, and most of the answers centered on God's will or
God's love, or opportunity for us to repent of our sins and commit to a
relationship with God. But how can
these answers be satisfactory to someone who says he doesn't believe in God?
have to admit, the best answer I saw was the most honest answer.
"I don't know why."
believe that there IS a God and He loves us, IN SPITE OF the fact that there is
death and suffering in the world. Why
do we feel that if there is a God, then we MUST be entitled to happiness and a
ALLOWS suffering but there are many instances when He protects us from it.
We just don't realize it when things go our way, because we don't
choose to appreciate all the GOOD things in our lives.
question is, how to convince the nonbeliever to either stop blaming God or
realize that God is still a God Who loves us, in spite of the bad, inexplicable
things that happen to those we love?
are some basic tenets of the Christian faith:
God sent His Son to live on earth as one of us.
He lived, breathed, ate, worked, laughed, and experienced pain.
may not think about the suffering that Christ endured on His last day on
earth. The agonizing torture of being brutally beaten. Then to carry the weight
of the heavy cross when He could barely stand, let alone walk.
didn't have to do that. But He
wanted to BECOME LIKE US, so that we could become like Him.
He wanted us to know that He doesn't ask anything of us that He
didn't ask of His own Son.
question is, why did Jesus agree to it?
is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends."
if a firefighter didn't want to risk his own life to rescue a child in a
burning building. Imagine if a police officer didn't step into the line of a
bullet to protect an innocent bystander. Imagine if George Washington and his
band of soldiers refused to fight the Revolutionary War, to obtain freedom for
the colonies in America.
God gave us free will. We can freely accept His offer of a relationship with us.
Unfortunately, not all people do, and bad things have happened as a result.
There are so many ripple effects when people exercise their free will.
Some intended, some unintended. This includes the most obvious ones like
murder, robbery, or infidelity. Less
apparent are the effects of greed, or lies, and so on.
God gave us stewardship over the earth and all that is within it.
There have been so many advances in science and technology, but many of
these advances have skewed the balance of the planet.
There are countless subtle and obvious ripple effects to physical heath
and mental health from industrial pollutants, pesticides, chemicals like BPA in
plastic baby bottles, or benzene (which is found all over the place; both
outdoors and inside the home). There
are all of the chemicals and preservatives added to our food supply.
Electric wires. Cell phones. I
could go on and on.
gave humans free will and the freedom to run amok on the planet Earth.
Many technological advances were beneficial to mankind, but many caused
more harm than good. Add in the
element of human greed... mega-corporations are more interested in profits than
in safety. Officials protect
multibillion-dollar markets from regulation.
Plus the deceptions, cover-ups and outright lies told to the public.
Ignorance. Conflicts of
why doesn't God just heal every single person affected by the massive damage
being done to the physical and mental health of people across the world?
Well, he could. The problem
is, if God were to miraculously cure all those suffering from physical and
mental disorders, then industries that poison our foods and pollute our
environments would say, "We aren't to blame.
It wasn't our product that caused these physical and mental
disorders." No, God made US to be
His voice, His hands, and His feet. WE
are the ones who can stop big businesses from destroying our planet and millions
if not billions of innocent victims.
can honor our loved ones' memories. We
can take what we know and try to change the world and make a difference.
has not abandoned us. If we want, we
can choose to forget our bitterness and turn to God for comfort and peace. He
will console us and heal us and draw us closer to Him.
in the sight of the Lord is the death of His godly ones." (Psalm 116:15)
God loves every person... to Him ALL children are precious in His sight.
so, my friend, I have no way of knowing why your brother had to die. Only
God knows. But as you can see, there are many possible reasons. And
my prayer is that one day, justice will be done to right all the wrongs on this
earth. And I will do all that is in my power to make this world a better
place. For the glory of God, who feels our pain. And for the
I'm sorry for your loss.
be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy
has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of
Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable
and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you... and though
you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy
inexpressible and full of glory." (1 Peter 1:3-4,8)