02. Where’s God When Life’s So Hard?
This is the first in a six-part series of blogs that links back to Chapter 19: Finding Meaning Among the Rocks in my first book: Breadcrumbs in the Storm.We were caught between two hurricanes on the east coast of America at the time. It was as if what was going on inside our family, was now on display in the heavens above us and in the ocean before us. That morning, alone on a beach in a foreign country, was a moment of calm in the eye of the storm – a moment of peace in search of meaning in the rubble after our greatest life-storm.
This webpage is also a follow-on from Chapter 2: The Rescue Plan in my second book Mysterious? …expect the unexpected…It’s a chapter of reflections in an attempt to germinate answers to age-old questions: Why do bad things happen to good people? Why do bad people seem to get away with being bad?
Since our son died, the search for meaning has taken me far and wide. The storms that can engulf our lives with the darkest of nights, can (if not conquered) lead us to insanity and even suicide. Two of my most talented Aunties committed suicide after apparently finding no logical way through or good reason for, a life overshadowed by incessant darkness.
Using words from the movie A Beautiful Mind (about the 1994 Nobel Prize winner John Nash), searching for logic and for reason can take us through the physical, the meta-physical the delusional and back again. Such is the strength of an ingenious mind inherited by us from our complex all-knowing Maker – the Creator God. He made us intricately in His own image. So He knew we’d be struggling with complicated issues in a complex way. But to begin unpacking the question: Where’s God when life’s so hard? I need to take you back to the earliest days in the Creator God’s epic story. We need to go back to…
The Day When ‘Trouble’ Began
From as early as Act 1 Scene 3 in His epic Play, our Creator God has predicted a journey that includes a continual uphill battle to the finish line. At the very least, we live in a continual struggle that puts our own free will first over God’s will for us. To make matters worse, we permanently reside in the path of a storm that rages at the highest possible levels:
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in heavenly places.”[a]
But if it’s as scary as it sounds, how did we get into this fix? Our TVs, newspapers, and gossip magazines are full of tragedies, stupidity, madness and crime. Who’s to blame? And why wouldn’t a Loving God simply jump in and cut off the trouble, suffering, sadness and pain right now? Well, let me tackle the root cause behind our problems first. Has anyone told you about …
The Historical Cause
Our problems today that we face in everyday life have a single root cause. It all started right back in time on just one day in world history. The best place to find a logical reason for why there’s trouble on earth today, is to look back at the Book of Genesis Chapter Three in the Bible. However, to focus on who was involved at the time and who’s to blame, is pretty futile in my opinion. So I think we need to look at ‘How?’ our trouble started. If we can work out ‘how’, we should then be able to work out ‘how to backtrack out of the quicksand’ that we’re clearly in. Or, at least avoid as much quicksand on our life-journey as we possibly can.
All our problems, that we see and experience today, are caused from four things that are directly related to the One who made the planet and us when He made us in His own image:
1. We didn’t (and we still don’t) know exactly what it is that our Maker explained to us and warned us about. We’ve either added to, or subtracted from, what He actually said.
2. We didn’t (and we still don’t) believe our Creator is all-knowing and that because of this, His instructions for those He made are vitally important.
3. We didn’t (and we still don’t) believe the consequences could be as bad as all that.
4. We didn’t (and we still don’t) believe that our Creator has the best for us, or has given us the best. We think that we could have something better, different, or more. So we choose to take matters into our own hands.
These causes are almost certainly at the back of any negative scenario that you hear about or personally experience today. No matter how small or large the mess is that we’re in. Our newspapers are full of stories of how people got themselves into the gravest of situations, committed to most grievous of crimes, or got involved in the most ridiculous of schemes. Almost guaranteed the reason is due to one or all of the above. Although these News stories show us the obvious consequences, there’s also the hidden consequences unseen to the naked eye. I you would like to read on, I invite you now to click on the link 2.2 The Lost “Dreamtime” I.
[a] Ephesians 6:12 [NASB]