Sam: Lyn, if there is a god, why doesn’t he do something about human suffering?
Lyn: What are you suggesting, Sam? That whenever there’s a problem, God should prevent it?
Sam: Of course not. I’m only talking about the serious ones.
Lyn: Define serious.
Sam: Well, Lyn, serious would be things like pandemics or loss of income…or poor health... or earthquakes or…
Lyn: What kind of poor health? Cancer? Heart disease?
Lyn: What about headaches? Head colds?
Sam: No-no. More serious than that.
Lyn: Well, where do you draw the line, Sam? I mean, what’s the difference between dropping a dinner plate and running a car into a tree? Or catching a cold and catching COVID-19? Essentially, they’re all the same.
Sam: Well, yeah. But I wouldn’t expect God to fix up every small problem that comes along.
Lyn: How do you know whether a problem is small? If you had a head cold, it could be a very serious problem if you were to visit an elderly person in the hospital. Highly dangerous in fact.
Sam: Mmm, in that case, maybe.
Lyn: Or what if your cold was an excuse not to make the hospital visit? Or what if it enabled you to take a few days of sick leave? What if you saw advantages in having a cold? What then?
Sam: Well… then I might not see it as a problem at all.
Lyn: And back to heart disease. What if you were poor and lonely and a heart attack would be a blessed relief? Better than suffering in isolation and cold and hunger?
Sam: Well, yeah, I suppose then…
Lyn: Can you see how difficult it is to resolve this issue, Sam? And what if you woke up one morning after a party feeling really sick because you had had too much to eat and drink the night before?
Sam: Well, that would be nothing to do with God. I wouldn’t expect God to deal with that.
Lyn: But what if you ate something at the party that gave you food poisoning? Would you want God to heal you?
Lyn: By stopping you from going to the party?
Sam: Hang on, Lyn. That’s not what I meant.
Lyn: But it would solve the problem, Sam. The issue is really not so simple, after all, is it? The thing is if we acknowledge God’s right to deal with things WE don’t like, shouldn’t we also acknowledge his right to deal with things HE doesn’t like?
Read: Psalm 73:1-17; Habakkuk 1:1-4, 12-13; 2:1-4.
What next? Which verse or verses really stand out to you from these passages? And why?