I was in my home office working, and my 12-year-old daughter came in and sat on my lap and hugged me. I’ve always loved when she sat on my lap like that – especially when she was younger, and I could just cuddle her. Now that she is taller than me, it’s a bit harder for her to scrunch her knees up into her chest while she’s on my lap, but we make it work.
She laid her head on my shoulder, and then sat back up and looked me in my eye. “Mom, why did God allow the coronavirus to happen?”
Geez, now how am I supposed to answer that one? I gave her my usual response when I don’t know how to answer her question about God – she’ll have to ask Him when she meets Him.
But I couldn’t leave it at that, not when this pandemic has seemingly turned her life upside down. She had been counting the days down to her surgery, using bracelets she made to give away each day to a friend or family member.
So after being told her surgery was postponed indefinitely, and then that school was closed, and we were practicing social distancing, I could see why she was wondering why the God she thought loved her would allow this to happen to her.
She’s a sensitive soul, always questioning why God allows suffering or death when she’s been exposed to a devastating circumstance in the news. She’s the one who always begs me to give her a dollar when she sees a panhandler asking for help. She truly has a heart for the less fortunate.
I gently explained that there has been suffering and distressing situations all over the world, but she’s just not always exposed to them. I told her I’d think about it some more and would write my response as this week’s blog.
So here goes…
Kass, we live in a sinful world. Even though it’s not personally our fault, we were born with a sinful nature, just like every other human being in the world.
And unfortunately, a result of the sin that exists in the world is pain, suffering, and death. And I wish I could change that, but I can’t.
There were people suffering before this coronavirus epidemic. There are terrible civil wars going on around the world where countless people were being killed, there are people in poverty that are starving, others being forced out of their homes and countries, children being kidnapped and sold, and even things more terrible that I don’t even want to talk about.
All of this is happening every day, even though there are resources and money available that could stop all the suffering. Even though some of them may not be from the United States, and some may be extremely poor, God cares about them just as much as He cares about us. We are not any better or more important in His eyes than they are. But still they suffer.
But sometimes we may still be affected by the sin that exists on this earth. Many people don’t serve God, and many don’t care about other human beings. There are a lot of people that are only focused on themselves – acquiring more money and possessions and satisfying their selfish desires.
You already know that evil exists in this world, and Satan is the prince of darkness. He influences all the pain and suffering that people experience, as it’s because of sin.
Even though there are people out there who have the power and ability to stop the suffering of others, they just won’t. It’s because Satan has so much influence over them and turned their hearts cold and dark.
I think in general that people have just turned away from God, to only focus on themselves. Maybe this situation is a wake-up call for our country and other nations to turn to God. You’ve seen all the ugliness in this country from the last presidential election. It’s hard to see citizens of the same country treat each other so terribly. But now we’ve seen a genuine concern for our fellow citizens in light of this pandemic. I hate that it took something so terrible to make us compassionate again.
Maybe this is also a call for us to give more focus on our family? We have spent a lot of time together over the last few days, and will be spending a lot more together in the upcoming weeks – eating meals together every night without having to rush off to a practice or meeting, playing games (thanks for teaching me how to play mancala last night!), and having some honest conversations and sharing our feelings with each other.
If you spend time thinking about it, it will make you feel very sad and hopeless. But you know we serve a God that gives us hope. He sent His son Jesus to earth, to sacrifice His life, to save us from our sinful nature. And because of His sacrifice, we have hope. We have hope for healing, we have hope for protection, and we have hope for eternal life in heaven, no matter what happens down here on earth.
I pray that the loss of life isn’t as bad as all the predictions, and that during this time people will turn to God for the help and hope only He can give. He truly is the only answer that I have right now. But He is enough and all we need.
As we go through this trying situation, let’s keep our focus on God. When we wake up in the morning, we must ask for strength, guidance, protection, and wisdom to get through the day. As we go through our day, we must try to re-focus on Him when the news or social media distracts us. And at night before we close our eyes, we must thank Him for keeping us through another day.
The final thing I want to share with you – be grateful for the little things. Things that we’ve always taken for granted: our home, our cars, our food, electricity, and WiFi to start. Those things we’ve always had and never thought much about but now have become critical necessities for many. Let’s remember to thank God for those things and any other small blessings that we’ve neglected to pray for in the past, ok?
I know our lives will turn back to normal soon, probably not the normal we had, but a new normal. And when that time comes, we must never forget this experience, nor those people throughout our country and throughout the world that continue to suffer for so many reasons. I hope what we are feeling stays with us and allows us to be compassionate towards others in helpless and hopeless situations.
I pray we come out of this as better people. And that the world is different too – in a good way.
May God’s will be done here on earth, as it is in heaven. Amen.
In trying times like this, we must look to our sources of hope. What is your hope in now during these difficult times that our world is experiencing?
Can you trust God even though you don’t know what will happen tomorrow, or next week?
Are you allowing the media to affect your thoughts? Or the Bible? Or maybe a combination of both?
Feel free to respond in the comments section… and share this story with someone in your life that could use the encouragement.
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