Jeff was mad. He stomped up and down the kitchen waving his arms and yelling at the top of his lungs.
I sat quietly in a chair. You see Jeff was not mad at me. Jeff was yelling at and angry with, God!
My friend had just watched a small child die after she suffered a long illness at a local hospital. He leaned and yelled in my face, “Why doesn’t God stop this ****? He could save every child with the wave of his hand. How can He let them suffer and die this way?”
In a soft voice I reminded him I was neither a Priest nor a Biblical scholar but I could give him my opinion. He turned and yelled, “TELL ME ! What crime have these children committed? There can be NO reason to let small children suffer and die this way!!!”
I think it is beyond man to know the mind of God but we can make some good guesses. I reminded him that the little girl was no longer suffering, and that she must have a special place in heaven. Then I admitted he was correct. God could keep every child from suffering and dying with the wave of his hand. In fact with the wave of that same hand he probably could erase all crime, all disease and all suffering. If it is possible, why doesn’t He do it? To find a reason you need to use “reverse logic.”
Let’s say God waved His hand and all the children were saved. Let’s say also He eliminated all crime, all wars, all disease and all suffering of any kind. It would be a whole “new” world of endless joy and happiness. BUT THINK FOR A MOMENT…
How would you correctly use His gift of “free will?” You would no longer have to choose between good and evil. There would only be good. How would you show God your compassion without those in need of our help? How do we show God we love our fellow man? Everyone would be just like ourselves, perfect without flaw.
There would be no Jonas Salk to dedicate his life to saving children from polio. There would be no Mother Teresa to rescue starving children from the streets of Calcutta.
That innocent little girl this morning went to heaven to live eternally with the Lord. Maybe that innocent child’s suffering and death was not so much a punishment for her as a test for us. Maybe God is testing us to see if we hear his words. Maybe God is testing us to see if we have the compassion and heart to save the next child.
The next time you see a sick or injured child or an adult in need, ask yourself, “Is this my final exam?” What grade will God give you in the school of your life?