So my 7 year old says to me last night, as he sees my on-going bumpy rash on my hands, “Mom, did the devil make your hands hurt?”
I looked at him a bit confused and my husband said, “Cornelia, he’s asking you a question.”
And he asked it again, then explained his question, “Cause you said the devil hurts you and God makes good things happen.”
Wow, don’t you just love the questions from the mouth of babes.
He didn’t stop there.
“Mom, I don’t get why God just doesn’t go down to hell and kill the devil.”
Another smile. And another, wow. Good question. I encourage the questions and I also tell my children that I am not always able to find the answer in a quick, easy, one sentence statement. But that questions are good.
Augustin is really asking the age –old question of old and what some people say keeps them from following God. You’ll hear people say, “How can a good God allow evil in the world?” and “How can you say God is good when there is so much suffering in the world?”
It is tough to think about and we need to acknowledge others as they express this statement. As I read various passages in the Bible, I see God being questioned by men and women of faith, and I see doubt expressed and I see people wondering, where is God? And I think of the reality of God giving us freewill and the existence of evil forces and how God did not create robots but He created people with the choice to do good and bad. But, sometimes the questions are still there. I am reminded of King David, who was considered a man after God’s own heart, and yet even he cried out to God in Psalm 22:1- 2—“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?…O my God, I cry by day, but You do not answer; And by night, but I have no rest.”
Yet, what I love is how David turns it around to trust in God, speaking truth into the situation. He says in the next verse, “Yet, You are holy. O You who are enthroned upon the praises of Israel…”
Ultimately, this question of Satan comes down to the reality of
where our struggle has its roots. As we studied Ephesians 6 in my discipleship group with Linda Ebel, we are reminded that our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the powers, against the forces of darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness… (v. 12).
Why doesn’t God just destroy the devil now and does Satan cause my hands to be bad? Good questions and all I can say is, we are in a world that is not perfect and we are not perfect and that is what makes life intesting, that is
what makes our life a story, and one day, as it tells us in the Bible, the devil will be destroyed and one day my hands will be perfect.
But not today. And that is okay. Because it makes me trust God today, and it makes me depend on Him today, and it draws me to my knees. To say, Not my will be done, but thine. Exactly what Jesus told us to say.