Ours is not to reason why…

9-11neverforgetI am fortunate indeed to be able to say I didn’t have anyone close to me who died in the 9-11-2001 terrorist attacks in New York and the Pentagon. Still, like most of my fellow Americans, I will never forget the tragedy that occurred that day, the deadliest terrorist act in world history, and my heart still aches for all of the victims and their families. Sometimes as human beings we are prone to question “why?” when reflecting on events such as these. As in, why do bad things happen to good people, why does God cause or allow such evil to exist and such pain and suffering to occur, and the like, just like Job did in the Bible, on whom my first novel, The Faithful One, is based. I believe that God doesn’t cause evil and suffering to happen; however, since He is all-powerful, whether bad things are caused by man and/or Satan, God does allow them to happen. We see this in the Book of Job when Satan asks God if he can “test” Job’s faith in order to destroy him. But the good news in the story is that, while God allows this to happen, Satan does not destroy Job, and then God gives to Job double what he lost. God is ultimately in control and helps Job, like he helps us, in our darkest days. Is this supposed to be comforting? Well, maybe not at first. It is still tough to understand why an all-loving, all knowing, all powerful God would allow bad things to happen. But in the big picture it can be. Because if God is all powerful, He will use our pain and suffering ultimately for good, like he did with his Son Jesus.  Over and over in the Bible we are told everything happens for a reason according to God’s Plan. We just can’t always see it.  “My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD. (Isaiah 55:8) And what if we could? We might still not fully understand or be satisfied with His answers. Yet that does not mean God is silent toward us. God speaks to Job in the Bible, but instead of telling him “Why” He tells him “Who.” He reminds Job who He is. “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand…Who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb? Does the eagle soar at your command and build its nest on high?…”   And we are reminded daily too…in the majesty of the ocean, the beauty of an eagle flying,the love and compassion we feel for each other which is seen especially in the wake of tragedies like 9-11. And that is enough for us to know. Even – and especially – when life doesn’t go our way, we can have faith in God’s sovereignty and know He will bring us through with his care and love. I especially felt this Sunday at Mass when they played the song, “On Eagle’s Wings” ((Lyrics based on Psalm 91 and Isaiah 40:31) often played at funerals to comfort us when we have lost a loved one and may question “why?” And He will raise you up on eagle’s wings, bear you on the breath of dawn, make you to shine like the sun, and hold you in the palm of his hand.”

 

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