What a pain in the neck – or my back or my arm or my leg. None of us like physical pain and when we have it we usually try and do all kinds of things to get rid of it. One really great way to do this is to go to a physical therapist and let them understand the problem and its source, evaluate and act on that understanding and then help us work through the process to regain our strength and health. What they help us do will probably bring us more pain for a short time so that we can have less or no pain for a long time! If you ask me, that is a winning formula! Can the process and treatment we receive from a physical therapist translate into steps we can take to identify, treat and alleviate the pains and malfunctioning of our spiritual lives? The best way to find that answer is to ask a physical therapist, so we did!
It happened just a few short weeks ago, but by now we are almost de-sensitized to the horror. In many ways we can feel like it’s just another story of a senseless killer randomly taking lives. But it’s not – what it is, is a chronicle of a world filled with inequity and evil, in which those who are innocent suffer and die and there are no real answers as to how to stop it. Is there someone to blame? Is it parenting? Is it education? Is it religion? Is it atheism? Is it freedom? Is it guns? Is it easy access to violence? Is it God? How do we begin to put these tragedies into some perspective? Stay with us – there IS an answer!
This was a tragedy. The recent earthquake, just off the coast of northern Japan, was the fifth largest ever recorded in human history. While the quake itself was not terribly damaging, the tsunamis it spawned were another story. From a personal standpoint, I have NEVER seen anything so destructive and powerful as those waves which literally engulfed everything in their path. So, what does all of this mean from a Christian standpoint? Did God make the earth quake – did God send the waves? Could God have stopped this? Stay with us as we consider these difficult and piercing questions.
Haiti is a small country, with 8-9 million as their population. It shares a small island with the Dominican Republic. Haiti is a poor nation, as a matter of fact, it is the poorest nation in the entire Western Hemisphere. This small and poor nation happens to sit atop a major fault line in the Earth’s crust. The recent earthquake in that small and poor nation caused death, destruction and horror the magnitude of which has not even become clear as of yet. Hundreds and hundreds of thousands died and countless hundreds of thousands are homeless, hungry and now subject to the next disasters of the aftermath – disease and starvation. Why? Did this have to happen? Could not the Almighty God, Creator of the Universe, have stopped this disaster and saved all those innocent lives?
No human being wants to see suffering and pain. I think that we all cringe inside when we look upon someone who suffers. We want to take their pain away, we want to help, we want to make it stop. Whether the pain is of their own doing or not, humanity has compassion on those who hurt. Here then rises a very important question. If we are created in the image of God and we have this deep compassion, then why does God NOT seem to have it? And, if God is who we say he is - the Almighty Creator - then why does He not put an end to such things? On this program we will attempt to look at these things squarely and see if we can find a comprehensive and sensible answer to these questions in the Bible. Why does God permit suffering? Stay with us - it is going to be quite a journey!