Monday, July 22, 2013

"Why Me, God?"

Have you ever wondered why God allows bad things to happen? I know even I have struggled with this question. Parents get killed by drunk drivers. Children die in house fires. Still others live with terrible deficits from these freak accidents. Teenagers get paralyzed in motorcycle crashes. Others are left with scars from the battle wounds they receive in gang fights. 

As nurses, we are surrounded by a great deal of pain and suffering (cancer, pancreatitis, liver and kidney failure, MIs, suicide attempts--the list is endless). So how will we answer when someone (a patient, a family member, a fellow nurse) asks "How can a 'good' God let bad things happen?" 

The answer isn't easy. And I don't pretend to know 100% of why. But I do know that God's original intention was for a perfect world--a world with no sickness, no pain, and no heartache. Man sin is what brought all this evil into the world. It was never God's plan for man to suffer. 

But how do we deal with the problem of evil when it effects our own lives? There isn't always a clear cut answer to that question, but I do know that God's nature doesn't change. He is still the same good God that He was yesterday, and He will be the same tomorrow and the next day (Hebrews 13:8), and I know His plan is to work out all the bad things that happen to us for our good (Romans 8:28). 

Job is a prime example. God allowed Job to endure unspeakable injury and insult at the hands of Satan, but God used it to prove to the Devil that Job was a godly man, and the Lord rewarded Job by giving him double of all that he had before (Job 42:10).

Joseph also was cast into a pit and then sold into slavery by his older brothers. Later just when he was experiencing the blessings of God and rising through the ranks in Potiphar's house, Potiphar's wife tried to seduce him, and then when he wouldn't consent, his reward was two years in prison (Genesis 41:1). It was only after Joseph remained faithful to the Lord through 11 years serving as a slave in Potiphar's house and 2 years as a prisoner in a dungeon that Joseph became second in command over Egypt. Speaking to his brothers, Joseph said “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today” (Genesis 50:20).

How will we respond when we face trials? Will we have faith that God can use them, just like He used Job’s and Joseph’s, for His glory?

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him” (James 1:2-5).

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