Reflection: There are positive aspects to suffering and death. Suffering can form character; and death allows room for the next generation to flourish. But most of us agree with the biblical understanding that both are things to be regretted. They reflect an imperfection. The Adam and Eve story teaches us that suffering, and death first made their appearance as a consequence of humanity choosing to live autonomously from God.
But here’s a disturbing thought. Where did evil and suffering come from originally? If God is the source of all things, this question should cause us a troubled frown, to say the least. So, what can we say?
Two things: The first is that God’s character should never be in doubt. God is the final definition of love, compassion and justice. God is truly good because he chooses to be good––irreversibly so.
The second thing is this: just as cold is the absence of heat; so evil is the absence of God. Evil is therefore not caused by the presence of God, but by the absence of God.
I hope that helps.
Prayer: Father, I want to declare that you are good in every way that good can be imagined. You are consistent, insistent, and persistent in seeking our love. Your character never varies in its perfection––and that is such a comfort.