By Duncan Burr • 17 April 2020 • 13:43
“If God is good, how could God let this happen?”
How often I’ve been asked this question in recent weeks! And indeed, how many times has this question been asked throughout history as successive disasters overtake humanity. And I was reminded recently of the occasion in March 2015 when Anne Graham Lotz, daughter of the Evangelist Billy Graham, was asked this very question by Jane Clayson during a televised interview on the American Early show, following another calamity that had then struck the Country. But unfazed by this question, Anne explained her belief that God cared deeply about such occurrences, but that for many years he had effectively been told to get out of our schools, our government, our business and our lives. And God, not wishing to impose himself on humanity, had simply done as requested and quietly backed out of our national, political and public life.
More recently, in relation to this latest pandemic, Anne has been quoted as being more worried about the fear coronavirus has provoked than of the virus itself. For fear is utterly debilitating, undermining our whole sense of wellbeing. So she reminds us of the words of that well-known 23rd psalm “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me,” and of the words of Isaiah 41, “Do not fear, for I am with you, do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you.”
And whilst we may not know of a cure for COVID19, yet the Bible clearly shows that faith is the absolute cure for fear. Jesus himself warned of coming “pestilences”, of earthquakes, of wars and of famines, but time and again he also encouraged his followers to “have faith and be not afraid”. So here, I suggest is where we can pause to rid ourselves of fear, as by faith we become filled with God’s peace.
So does God care? Well, at Easter we remember God allowed humanity to torture and crucify Jesus, but he certainly cared, which is precisely why he didn’t intervene. For no matter how often we reject Him, God’s love is readily available to all.
Duncan Burr is Licensed Lay Reader for the Anglican Chaplaincy of Costa Almeria and Costa Cálida (further detail available at www.mojacarchurch.org) and may be contacted at [email protected]
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Duncan Burr is Licensed Lay Reader for the Anglican Chaplaincy of Costa Almeria and Costa Calida (further detail available at www.mojacarchurch.org) and may be contacted at [email protected]
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