Why can lead to very, very painful questions, can’t it? Why do bad things happen to good people? Why was my child born with Down’s Syndrome? Why was my fiancee’ murdered? Why me?
Followers of Christ can welcome ” why” questions, even the most heart wrenching ones. Here’s why: asking why reveals what you really, seriously believe about the origins of life and how we got here. Just when it seems like everyone you know is celebrating Darwin and embracing the random evolution of the life on Earth, another victim asks why some tragedy has struck, and godless explanations of life on earth get shot to Hell.
If advanced human life is simply the chance result of random, unguided evolution, there is no meaning in life. Don’t even ask. Love is not a commitment or a calling: it’s a chemical reaction. Family is not a divinely ordained institution: just a group of individuals linked by DNA. And if evolutionary biologists are correct, tragedies are just tough luck. There is a real possibility that you could be in the wrong place at the wrong time, but there’s no chance it matters. All you do is pass along genetic material, not even knowing if yours is the good stuff or just junk DNA your descendants will have to overcome!
People who respond to tragedies with “why” questions intuitively know they are created by God, even the ones who insist they are atheists. The only justification for asking why something bad has happened to you is this underlying conviction that the world was created in an orderly way by a God who is rational and good. The combination of intelligent design and a loving Creator means there must be a reason why unfair things happen to undeserving people. In fact, only the idea of divine creation explains the universal belief that some things are not fair and everyone should realize it. Without a creator God, the ethos of the slime pool is eat or be eaten: it’s lonely at the bottom of the food chain… just not for long.
Your brain looks desperately for meaning in major life events for the same reason it automatically searches for familiar shapes among the clouds in the sky. (That cloud looks like a bowl of spaghetti, doesn’t it?) Your brain is the product of an orderly creation by a rational God who built meaning into every corner of life. At my core, I sense I was made by God and He is good.
Genesis 1:31 explains that God finished his work of Creation, paused to gaze at human beings frolicking among the beasts in the Garden, and concluded, “This is very good.” Everything was fulfilling it’s purpose. And that purpose was light years more elevated than the survival of the fittest. In the real world, the fittest sometimes give up their lives so the vulnerable can survive. Evolution can’t explain that either.
If human life is only a matter of chance and time, your family crisis is no more meaningful than a dead sparrow on a windshield. Extinction happens, folks. Only faith can give devastated victims a comforting hug and reply, “I don’t know why. I only know that God is good.” And that resonates with a broken heart.
Why is not a four letter word. It’s powerful evidence that most of us know more theology than we ever assumed. Build on it to nudge shattered friends and neighbors toward the One who also gives meaning to life’s joyful moments.
To hear the companion message, GOD + 0 = EVERYTHING, click here,
Lift up the Cross!