...and Oprah has so much.
Okay, so our big question is this: why does a loving God let bad things happen?
I talk about it a little bit here, but the truth is I don’t have a clean answer. If someone has an answer that wraps up all the tension with a bow, then I’d be more concerned than anything. It’s just hard to swallow.
But here’s what I’d like to mention: we don’t like the idea of a God who lets bad things happen, because we often imagine that same God aloof, up in the clouds not caring or maybe even put off by the state of the world.
But Jesus changes everything. Jesus, the Bible tells me so, felt all of the human stuff. And not in an artificial way. He didn’t just put on human skin. He did the thing. He became human.
Pause. Take a second.
Go to the most painful moment of your life (sorry, I’ve been accused of going too deep too quickly). Can you imagine Jesus there with you? I believe He was — even if you don’t call yourself a Christian. He didn't only experience humanness. He's with us in our darkest hour.
Fathers. They mean so much, huh? It’s another theme I visit and revisit. It’s just so darn important. So, would a good father keep his kid from everything uncomfortable?
Probably, right? Wrong.
We know that even on a human level.
My dad wouldn’t buy me an iPod once. I’d lost mine and asked if he would replace it. He said no. I could tell he wanted to, that it was hard for him, because he desires to give me everything. It's almost like he was just as upset as me, even though he chose not to fix it.
And that’s what it comes back to. That place where my dad wanted to replace the iPod, but didn’t because he knew better. The difference is that we don’t always hear the sensitive tone in God’s voice, like I heard in my dad’s. But I guess that’s why I mention Jesus. Jesus is kind of like the sensitive tone in God’s voice.
The iPod thing was my fault. It was better that I feel the burn and grow from it. I don’t think you can chalk up all the pain in the world to “God just needed to teach you a lesson.” It’s way trickier than that. I just hope that maybe you can make room for the idea that God may have Oprah-level empathy for your situation.
God, I don't understand all the darkness in the world. It seems random. But could you please show me where you share in the world's pain? Could you show me that you care about my pain? Amen.