I admit that this is a question that I am really struggling with at the minute which is why I was intrigued to read this article. Think about the 92 souls in the Russian choir who met an untimely death in the plane crash. What was their fault – having a God-given talent and using that talent to bring some joy to the suffering of Syria.
I think about my friend Eric (please pray for him) – a young talented man in his early 30’s, a physician with a young family, hit literally in one night with an incurable brain tumour; completely paralysed. Why? A God-fearing Christian. A good family. And yet SMACK.
So much wrong, and so many innocent suffering. Ultimately answered I guess in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, but still an almost impossible issue to grapple with by us mere mortals.
I think the answer is to be find in the book of Job, 38 – when God speaks to Him through the whirlwind.
I ceased to wear me with your same question some years ago, when I learned of a pious Greek woman, a widow with only one son, a little wonderful boy struck by a malignant tumor which was to require his life. This woman prayed to God to save him, almost in anger, crying (in all truth!) her righteousness and piety. The next day the tumor had literally disappeared, leaving all doctors in amazement. After a few years, this same boy, growed up and ended with bad companies, was killed by police after a violent crime he had just committed.
Indeed, where were we when He stretched out the curtain of the firmament far above the earth like a tent?
The answer is in our faith, that everything works for the good of those who struggle into salvation, the faith of Abraham who did not question when God required his only son, the faith in which all the nation are blessed.
Of course, we can imagine a thousands better ways, always forgetful that this world is fallen just because at the very beginning we thought we knew and could do best than the Almighty.
The answer is in our Lord’s prayer in the Gethsemani, just before suffering the most atrocious and unjust humiliation and death: “Take away this cup from me, but your will be done, not mine”.
The Church was (and is) built by the blood of the Martyrs, upon unjust suffering and excruciable pains.
We are weak, miserable; the snares of this world penetrate so deeply in our flesh that this world is the only thing we are able to conceive, so that the loss of this earthly life appears as the ultimate loss.
As Christians, we know it is not so. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
“Your will be done, but have mercy on the infinite measure of my misery and weakness; do not give me trials I cannot endure”.