How can a God who is all-powerful, all-knowing and all-loving & good allow evil in the world?
This is a question that has kept me up at night. I have cried many tears over this question and truly lamented from the depths over it. I have also spent a lot of time in conversation about it, reading different answers to it, and trying to come to terms with it.
If you're either brave or perhaps foolish enough to ask this question publicly, you will get a lot of response. Some will say that God uses suffering for our good. Some will say that we shouldn't question God's plan. Some will say that we brought suffering on ourselves in the Garden (Genesis 3) and God allowed it because he didn't want us to be puppets, forced to obey.
Maybe these responses hint at the truth, but in my opinion, the real answer to the problem of evil is I don't know.
Personally, I've come to something like peace with the Problem of Evil by accepting that it's a paradox.
Yes I believe God is all powerful.
Yes I believe God is all loving.
Yes I believe that he has allowed evil in the world.
I just don't know why.
I used to get really nervous when people around me questioned God. Saying something like How could God allow this to happen? made me feel scared and guilty. I was the person trying to answer this unanswerable question by defending God.
Maybe I'm wrong, but I've come to a place where I don't feel the need to defend God anymore. When I or my loved ones are suffering and asking the big Why?, I'm okay with saying I don't know.
This sucks and I don't know why it's happening.
When I decided to blog my way through this infertility journey, I thought long and hard about it because I knew if I was going to share the journey, I was going to share it all. Hard parts included. I prayed about it because my ultimate goal in this whole blog- and in my life- is to bring God glory. And would I, I wondered, bring God glory even if I shared my raw, honest pain? Does it bring God glory for a Christian to write the words I feel hopeless?
I think yes.
For one, I believe God is going to demonstrate his faithfulness in this journey. My current state of this sucks and I feel terrible doesn't undo anything. When I'm alone and asking God these questions about what to share, I always come away with the sense that God doesn't need me to defend him by making my story seem prettier or happier than it is. If I could sum up in one sentence what I do hear from God it would be: I've got this. So, I share. The blessing. The joy. The lament. The suffering. And all the conviction that happens along the way.
And, second, when I do share this amazing thing happens.
You guys show up.
I tell you I'm hurting.
You say I'm here.
You cry too.
I received so many emails, facebook messages, texts and comments that I could not even reply to them all. Story after story. Miles of me too's. Verse after verse of God's promises for me- for all of us. And best of all: just, "I know there's nothing I can say, but I'm praying and I'm here."
I felt like you all were that great 70's "hymn" The Servant Song, come to life.
I will hold the Christ light for you
In the night time of your fear
I will hold my hand out to you;
Speak the peace you long to hear.
So, thank you. Thank you for your amazing words of encouragement. Thank you for sharing your stories. Thank you for hearing my pain and holding up that Christ life in the night time of my fear. Thank you for being open enough to hear hear the reality of my suffering. Thank you for the peace you've offered.
I don't know why people like me who have dreamed of carrying a child inside for their whole lives go into peri-menopause at age 27. I don't know why God would give me this unquenchable desire for pregnancy and then allow me to suffering years of infertility. I don't know why.
I don't know if he's going to grant me a pregnancy or not. I don't know if he's going to ease this burning desire in my heart. I don't know if he's going to heal whatever is broken inside of me. I don't know when he's going to take away my sadness and pain.
I don't know.
I do believe, though, that he's going to reveal his faithfulness. I believe he's showing me his love through you. And I don't believe this hard part is the end of my story.
Turning another page. Another cycle, another month, another try.
He's got this.