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Today’s blog is written by Anthony Varesio, in another installment of his Imperfekt Chronicles.
My faith light has been shining through more and more as my walk with Christ has grown stronger, attracting more and more questions from non-believers and “on-the-fencers”. After a while, a common denominator emerged in their queries; they all begin with: “Why does God…” Why does God permit suffering; why does God let children die; why does God permit wars; why does God never answer my prayers; why does God let evil go unchecked. Usually I would just respond with the same look most people would have if under interrogation; turns out that didn’t help much in the witnessing or saving department.
I earnestly turned to the Textbook of Life for my answers. All of the answers were spelled right out in front of me, again.
To answer almost of all of the “Why does God…” questions we have to start where we began: the Garden of Eden. Originally we were intended to live forever perfect and harmonious lives, but perfect love requires one ingredient that would ultimately be our catalyst for destruction: Freewill. Love is not pure if it is manufactured or coerced. Love can develop or evolve, but it can not be forced – your heart would simply not accept it. So God gave us freewill to love Him or reject Him. To love Him is to be obedient to Him. Not the kind of obedience that a self-serving person would impose on us, but the obedience that assures righteous living for our own health, happiness and spiritual prosperity, identical to the obedience imposed by a loving parent upon their children.
Freewill, a necessity for pure, true love, is worthless if there are no options. Enter the Enemy. The Enemy represents everything opposite of God; he cares not for our happiness, health, or spiritual well being – he despises us. The Enemy had the freewill to love God as we did, but again, freewill was necessary for pure love and he chose disobedience; he ignored his Creator’s blueprint, so now he offers us the other “options”.
Our new “Circle of Life” started the moment disobedience took hold in the Garden of Eden, with the first taste of sin. A new countdown began to time our lives. Imagine the gears and mechanisms inside a quality timepiece; small gears spin to slowly move larger ones and the seconds become minutes; minutes become hours; hours become days, ultimately time advances and things change. Such is life now. One small sin grew into another sin and another and slowly but surely sin advanced and things changed just like the movements in a timepiece. Our lifespan grew shorter, our bodies grew weaker, our spirits tainted and our obedience failed.
So, “Why does God…?” He doesn’t and He didn’t! We did it. Not even the Enemy can be blamed. We chose our own destiny. We brought sickness, disease, spiritual bankruptcy, untimely and unfortunate death, war, ill-deeds, horrific acts of inhumanity and WE departed from a pure and timeless existence and started the clock ticking against us. If you stuck your hand in a bed of hot coals would you blame God for the burns and pain?
But there is good news. Our clocks always end up where they started; we don’t know when it will be on its final rotation, but it is coming. In the meantime, God takes each mess we have made, and continue to make, and gives us the gift of leveraging it for our own good thanks to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. I am trying my best to stop sticking my hands into the bed of hot coals until our time reaches the full circle; however, when my own choices do bring about personal trials and tribulations I now find great joy that our Father above cares and loves me so deeply that He graciously affords the lessons and opportunities to refine my freewill.
“And he swore by him who lives for ever and ever, who created the heavens and all that is in them, the earth and all that is in it, and the sea and all that is in it, and said, “There will be no more delay! But in the days when the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet, the mystery of God will be accomplished, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.” (Revelations 10: 6-7)
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