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Essays on Faith: Why God, why?

Do you sometimes feel that God is either not listening to you or that He just doesn’t care about your circumstances? Do you wonder why others live as they please and still get whatever they ask for, while you do everything you’re supposed to, praying long and hard, yet get nothing?

Most of us experience a feeling of abandonment by God at some time in our lives. At times, we even get angry and ask, “Why God, why?”

The question comes up constantly: Why are some people blessed more than others?

In Ezekiel 29:20, God explains why King Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, has been successful though he wasn’t a man of God. “I have given him Egypt as a reward for his efforts because he and his army worked for me,” declares the Sovereign Lord.

We see here that even people who may not follow God inadvertently do His will and are justly rewarded. We look and see through man’s eyes, whereas God looks through the Divine Lens and is just in all ways. God will reward even nonbelievers for fulfilling some part of His will.

Although a bitter pill, we must swallow it because it shows that our God is truly just. Bearing in mind God’s response to Jeremiah when he questions the Lord’s justice in Jeremiah 12, we should try to remain focused on how our lives are affected instead of complaining to God about the good fortune of other people.

It’s natural to cry out for justice against those who seem to get everything even though they’re not loyal to God, but we must realize that we ourselves might be in big trouble if God gave each of us what we truly deserve.

I once participated in a group discussion where a woman expressed great sadness because she simply could not understand why God had taken her beloved daughter even though she had prayed fervently for her life. She’d had unbending faith that He’d answer her prayers and let her daughter live. “But the answer was ‘No,’” she said tearfully.

None of us could offer an explanation. We’d all lost loved ones: fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers and extended family members, but only one person had suffered the loss of a child.

After the meeting was over, this kind man hugged the woman and said, “I know how you feel.”

We were all sympathetic, but until you’ve experienced such a loss, one cannot truly know the intensity of the pain another endures, nor why God allows it.

Many people have tried to find the answer to why God allows bad things to happen to good people. In 1981, Harold S. Kushner, a prominent American rabbi, wrote a bestselling book called “When Bad Things Happen to Good People.” It is dedicated to the memory of his young son, Aaron, who died in 1977, at age 14, of the incurable genetic disease progeria. Since it was published, the book has been translated into 12 languages — an example of the number of people interested in this subject.

The Bible says: “We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).

All things, even the bad things, will work together for good!

Three important things to remember:

1. God is not oblivious to tragedy. He understands our pain. Jesus, who comforts us, experienced every kind of pain and temptation, so He knows what you’re going through and how to provide support. The blessing is: He will make it go away in eternity.

2. The question has not been resolved. The bad things we see happening to people is not something we will completely understand in this life. But, we have good reason not to become cynical or blame God.

3. Nothing said here is intended to minimize the tragedy any person has or will experience. The pain is real and never easy to fully understand. The bottom line: Jesus is a loving Savior who wishes to embrace you now and will deliver you from all tragedy ultimately.

Yes, sometimes bad things happen to people who seem undeserving of them. Often things happen to us that we simply cannot understand, but God allows things to happen for His reasons, whether or not we understand them. Therefore, instead of doubting God’s goodness, our response should be to trust Him.

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Above all, we must remember that God is good, just, loving and merciful even when, for the present, He allows trials and sufferings to come into our lives.

Peggy Toney Horton lives in Nitro.

Essays on Faith may be submitted to gazette@wvgazettemail.com.

Funerals for Saturday, August 24, 2019

Barron, Dennis - 11 a.m., Airborne Church, Martinsburg.
Baylor, Elizabeth - 1 p.m., Snodgrass Funeral Home, South Charleston.
Bonds Jr., Patrick - 1 p.m., King of Glory International Ministries, Charleston.
Burgess, Corey - 5 p.m., Aldersgate United Methodist Church.
Burns, Helen - 11 a.m., Stump Funeral Home & Cremation, Inc., Grantsville.
Caldwell, Gary - 6 p.m., Long & Fisher Funeral Home, Sissonville.
Casto, Carroll - 1 p.m., Raynes Funeral Home, Eleanor.
Casto, Roger - 2 p.m., Chapman Funeral Home, Winfield.
Duty, Fred - 2 p.m., Handley Funeral Home, Danville.
Fisher, Bernard - 2 p.m., Waybright Funeral Home, Ripley.
Gwinn, Lloyd - Noon, Church of Christ, Craigsville.  
Habjan, Nathan - 1 p.m., Wilson-Smith Funeral Home, Clay. 
Hall, Daniel - Noon, Witcher Baptist Church.
Hinkle, Ethel - Noon, Church of Christ, Craigsville.  
Hoffman, Bruce - 2 p.m., Foglesong - Casto Funeral Home, Mason.  
Kinder, Siegel - 1 p.m., Leonard Johnson Funeral Home, Marmet.
Kyler, Virgil - 11 a.m., Pleasant Grove Cemetery, Reedy.
Palmer, William - 1 p.m., Barlow Bonsall Funeral Home, Charleston. 
Raynes Sr., Steven - 1 p.m., Tyree Funeral Home, Oak Hill.
Truman, James - 2 p.m., Newton Baptist Church, Newton.
Turner, Keith - Noon, Full Gospel Assembly,  Huntington. 
Webb, Antoinette - 11 a.m., SS Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Oak Hill.
Wilson, Greg - Noon, Roach Funeral Home, Gassaway.
Withrow, James - 1 p.m., Cooke Funeral Home Chapel, Cedar Grove.