By Greg Forde (guest blogger)
I never thought that I would find myself in agreement with anything the Rev. Al Sharpton had to say; and politically, I’m pretty sure I still don’t. But in a recent appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, the political commentator returned to his first calling.
While discussing the reactions to the recent shootings in Newtown, as well as those in New York and Pennsylvania, the conversation turned to God’s role in the shootings and His attendant grace and comfort towards the survivors. Their conversation basically centered on the age old question, often asked by both faithful and unfaithful liberals,—“How does a loving God allow bad things to happen, and how do Christians maintain their faith without a clear answer to that question?”
Sharpton’s response was immediate and direct. Sharpton reminded the panel that God is everywhere, in the good and in the bad, and faith is especially for those times when we do not have the answers.
In the fallen world we live in, God’s presence in evil is a hard concept to grab a hold of. For unbelievers, and I fear, even for believers, we don’t like operating without answers. Even worse, we don’t like waiting for answers. Actually, most of us don’t like waiting for anything. For instance, in a restaurant we want our service faster. When we are driving, we want the car in front of us to go faster. We even want our worship service to go faster. We just don’t like waiting for anybody, or for anything including God. This attitude is sad because waiting for God is the best part about faith.
Sharpton is right. When we can’t find an answer, when we can’t understand a circumstance on our terms, that’s when we need to turn to the gospel—to turn our eyes to the cross of Christ and remind ourselves and others that God has a wonderful plan and that He will show it to us on his schedule, not ours. Easy to believe, harder to do, isn’t it?
“Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.” Psalm 46:10-11