Friday, January 22, 2010

The Earthquake shook Haiti, then it shook our Faith

The Haitian government is now saying that the confirmed death toll in their country has reached 70,000. No doubt it will keep rising.

If we are honest with ourselves, suffering on this scale forces us to reexamine our most basic assumptions about life no matter what position we take on God. In the email exchanges that people send to me I can tell that we are all shocked and jolted by the suffering we see in Haiti, even if we only experience the pain as distant observers. Just like the Haitians themselves, some of us turn to God for spiritual power to make sense of the disaster while others of us turn away from God in doubt. Most of us go back and forth between the two positions.

The Bible is full of people who wrestle with God. Even Jesus cries out on the cross “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

There’s nothing wrong in crying out to God when disaster hits. And it’s understandable that our faith gets shaken in disasters. When we choose to wrestle with God we join a long list of average, ordinary people in the Bible who did the very same thing. In fact, I would have questions about people of faith who don’t have their faith shaken by such suffering. If Jesus cries out to his Father, how can we not do the same?

To have faith doesn’t mean we quit asking questions or we cease to having doubts. Rather, to have faith means we have hope, hope that God is right beside us even when we can’t see him, even in the midst of disaster.

(To be con’t)

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