stories about life and God

indescribable hope and perfect peace.

i’ve had a very very rough day…but a good one.
i cried in two of my classes and in chapel. everyone decided to talk about emotional things on the same day.

this morning in philosophy, we’re on the problem of evil. today dr. gentry had us talking about why bad things happen to good people.

i hate that question.
because it’s torn my family apart, because it’s hard, and because it makes me think of things that i normally don’t let myself think about.

a lot of people said a lot of things. some of them made sense, some of them were crazy(bless the high schoolers hearts), some of them made me mad.
gentry was the worst. although i’m not positive i understood him right.

he talked about how God let Jesus die. that was the worst thing that could ever happen, happening to the only truly “good person” ever. he let it happen because it was the price that had to be paid for all of us to have eternal life.
then he started talking about how God was willing to pay that price. and he somehow tied it in to when good people struggle and good comes out of it for others, how that should make us okay with suffering. he gave a hypothetical personal example, and said “if that’s what it takes, then that’s a price i’m willing to pay.”
and i thought, well i’m NOT willing to pay that price. let this happen to someone else. or don’t let it happen to anybody. i wouldn’t need to help that person through that if neither of us had to go through it.
anyways. i was mad. especially when he started asking us how we would defend our answer to a nonbeliever. because i don’t know. i have all the same questions they do: why did God need to put that in his plan at all? if he was there when it happened why didn’t he stop it? what about the things we never see good come out of? i just don’t know.

i was still mad when i walked into chapel. but as we sang matt redman’s “never once” and got to the part that says
carried by your constant grace, held within your perfect peace
i suddenly was okay. i remembered what’s always gotten me through.

over christmas break, i was telling someone about everything i had gone through last semester. when i got to the end, they asked “i’m the first person you’ve told all this to?” i said yep. they asked “how did you…how are you still here? how could you go that long without giving up?”
i answered “i guess i knew, as crazy as it seemed, that somewhere out there, no matter how much crap is in the way of my seeing him, God is out there. i just knew it. and that little bit of hope somehow was enough to keep me wanting to see what would happen tomorrow.”

i don’t know the answer to the bad things question. but i’m okay with not knowing because of that hope i have that i can’t shake. and God is the only reasonable source of it. back in december i had absolutely no other reason to have any hope of anything ever being better; yet i had it.

i doubt that that explanation will convert an atheist, and that does really bug me. i wish i had a clear cut, intelligent-sounding answer. i wish there was a way to transfer that hope into someone else so that they understand it for themselves.
but all we have is prayer. and prayer is a lot more powerful than our words, even if they do sound really smart.


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