REFLECTIONS: Why do we experience so much turmoil in life?
We talk about God and we read about God and go to church and hear about God but, who is He and what is He like? You might have heard that God is good. That causes us to ask a second question: If God is good, why do we have so many troubles in this world? Let’s explore that question by first looking at God’s character and then looking at how the trouble started and what that means for us today.
He is the only creator and sustainer of the universe. We read in Genesis that with a word, He created and keeps the sun in its place and the planets and moons rotating in order. With a word, He created mountains, lakes and streams and directs their paths. With a word, He created the elegant wisteria and the majestic sequoias, the delicate hummingbird and the majestic eagle. He put in place the elements of the atmosphere to provide brilliant sunrises and sunsets. God loves order and beauty and He created it for us to enjoy!
Second, He is the creator and sustainer of humans who are made in His image. He gives us each breath and He keeps our hearts beating so that blood is constantly flowing through our lungs, gathering the oxygen we breathe and running it efficiently throughout our bodies in order to nourish our organs and tissues. We exhale carbon dioxide that the plants around us use. This efficient system is ours to enjoy while on this earth!
Third, he has created stunning visual pleasures: rushing waterfalls, snow-capped mountains, foam topped waves, and fields of grain that dance in the wind. We have plants that produce colorful, flavor-drenched fruits and vegetables. God apparently likes to give us good things because He loves us.
Please read Genesis 1 and 2 to get a fuller picture of the stunning creation mentioned above. In spite of the perfect life Adam and Eve had in the Garden of Eden, trouble began early and everything changed. When Adam and Eve chose to disobey God’s purpose and direction, God told them that the consequences of their choices would include such things as pain in labor, weeds and hard work. Those consequences are still part of the world today. In the midst of the beauty, we now have weeds, drought, floods, storms, hunger, hail, forest fires, tornadoes, earthquakes, blizzards, hurricanes, hate, dissention, murder, war, torture, illness, cancer and earthly bodies that just wear out and cause pain.
Yet, God proved that He loved and still loves by promising, as soon as Genesis 3, that there would be a way of eternal salvation from our earthly struggles. He fulfilled that promise by sending Jesus Christ, His only Son, to pay the price for the disobedience from the beginning that continues today. We can rejoice that God did this because He still loves us!
Finally, I mentioned earthly bodies that wear out and cause pain. That is my current situation. Because of deteriorating scoliosis, I am scheduled to have a decompression and fusion of my lumbar spine. Will you, my readers, pray for me and for the surgeon? Will you study God’s Word in order to learn more about the promises God has laid out because of His perfect character? We all face struggles because of the turmoil of this world. The only way to have peace in the midst of our trials is to live in peace with God. We do this by acknowledging our continued disobedience to God and by accepting Jesus Christ’s perfect sacrifice as the only way to find this peace with God. Let us all choose to grow in love and obedience!
Helen McCormack’s book, “Ordinary Life, Extraordinary God,” which contains about 1/3 of the devotionals written for the Minot Daily News for nearly 25 years, is available online or by contacting her at email@example.com.