On Thursday I hurt myself. It all happened so fast, without pain I would have missed it. I had heard an interesting new development concerning the just ended polls and was itching to share the gist with the rest of my male dominated household. My journey to kokonsah was interrupted when wet spirogyra (for which I’ve never cared much), like shredded okro facilitated my slipping. In a split second I had slipped and scraped my shin against the edge of an elevated tiled floor. I’m not a medical student but I think I saw white blood cells (a lot of them) which were supposed to be concealed by the removed epidermis. You know that feeling when you are in pain but shut up because you are not a baby anymore? Well, I kept quite because “barima nsu”. I braved out the pain, after all I had news to deliver.
I answered the usual “what happened?” and we made a little fun of the unwelcome early morning bruise even though I was then starting to bleed. With the aid of running water, Dolby perfume (for methylated spirit), tissue and a pair of scissors (for cutting my own skin), I self-treated the wound.
In the midst of all the explanations as to what led to my fall, and the pain I must be feeling, I said something cool. I said, “Sometimes pain makes you appreciate its absence.” The words seemed well thought out and preconceived, I just knew I needed a revisit because they were profound.
Christian apologist, Ravi Zacharias has dominated my search history lately, especially on YouTube. I’ve watched a couple of his lectures and ‘Q and A’ sessions at conferences and universities all over the world. I’ve enjoyed the clarifying answers he has given to some of the toughest questions posed by scientists, atheists, agnostics, and Christians concerning the faith. One of the frequent questions asked him is this; “If there is a God, why is there so much evil?” In more of a declarative tone, one man said; “there is too much evil in this world, there can’t be a God”. Poised as ever, Ravi in his Indian accent replied, “If you say there is too much evil, aren’t you assuming there’s such a thing as good?”
The man said yes.
“If there’s such a thing as good, aren’t you assuming a moral law by which you distinguish between good and evil?”
He struggled for a while but finally agreed.
“If there is such a thing as a moral law by which you distinguish between good and evil, you are assuming that there must be a moral law giver and He’s the one you are trying to disprove and not prove. If there’s no moral law giver, then there’s no moral law. If there’s no moral law, then there’s no good. If there’s no good, then there’s no evil. What is your question?”
Stunned, the man asked Ravi, “What then am I asking you?”
God is not the originator of evil. He is not responsible for the pain in our lives. All the pain resulting from the evil in this world can in no way be attributed to God. Neither is evil in any way proof of His non-existence. God exists, so does evil and pain. When you tell someone that God is love; that His very nature is love, the confusion grows worse because they cannot reconcile how an all loving God, would allow so much pain in this life.
But hear this, what if we got rooted in the truth that God is truly love and that it was never His will for us to live like this? What if we came to grips with the fact that God cannot be the cause of an iota of evil or pain in this world; that all the natural disasters we refer to as ‘acts of God’ in our legal documentations are really a defamation of His loving character?
Now, if God doesn’t will this for our world and is definitely not the cause of our pain, who then is responsible? I wouldn’t look too far. Man is! One man spun a chain reaction of sin and it has been around ever since. Man seeking to play God, thereby defining his own absolutes forsook God’s rulership and bought the ideology of a talking snake. That’s what got us in this situation, not God.
Accepting that we are the root cause of all the mess around still leaves one wondering why God out of love wouldn’t just take away all the sin, evil and pain even if we are the cause of our own downfall. This is where it is of utmost importance to accept the truth that He really has dealt with sin and its effects on our world. Twenty centuries ago He did exactly what we cry for. God is not the originator of evil but He can use if for good. In the same vein, God is not the source of all the evil in this world, but with its presence God shows the world its dire need of the salvation that is found only in Him. The salvation that is available unto all men who believe in the Son; Jesus, the propitiation for the sin of the entire human race.
I prayed for healing for my bruise, and it really has healed. I would be utterly wrong to believe that God sovereignly made me fall so I could pray to Him for healing. He didn’t cause the fall, but he convicted me to pray for His healing and also to write this beautiful blog post. God has used it for good.
I long for a world without strife and pain and that will be a tangible reality in the new earth God promises. But we have the opportunity to live that beautiful life right here and now. How? We have new hearts, live by faith and walk in the love of God.