Where was God on September 11?
I recently watched a show on PBS Frontline about “Faith and Doubt on Ground Zero” and the people who were confronted with the loss of love ones during that tragedy. Their basic questions is: Why did God allow this to happen?
As someone fighting stage IV cancer the past two years, I’ve done some serious examination of this question. It’s impossible to cover a topic of this scope in such a short space but I would like to examine a few key points.
We Intrinsically Know There is a Greater Good
We almost automatically wonder why the “bad” happens, which means we know there is a sense of justice in our hearts. We know what bad is and we know it’s wrong because we know of “good.”
Because of this knowledge, there has to be something or someone that is the ultimate “judge.” Someone who can dispense justice fairly and accurately. That someone is God. We know it.
Otherwise, why would we care about tragedies? Why would we even call them tragedies? Even in the face of suffering, many still cling to God.
Two people interviewed in the show who lost their son and daughter did not lose their faith in God. Neither did another survivor who said about God’s plan: ”I can’t question it.”
Yes, some people’s faith crashes in face of tragedy. But their disappointment by its definition points to something higher in this world.
One woman said her faith was weakened when her husband died on September 11. She said the conversations she had with God she know longer has; how she used to thank God for her blessings and make prayer requests but she said she can’t anymore. “I feel so abandoned.”
But then she said deep down she knows God exists.
Therefore, let’s dispense of the theory that we evolved from monkeys or some other life form by random chance. Nonsense.
If that was the case, then who cares about injustice or a child dying? Who cares if we are born out of random chance, evolving from other life forms and that there is nothing beyond this life.
If so, then we are no different than lions and gazelles, of which one gets killed and eaten by the other. Yet those animals have no sense of right or wrong. If we evolved from some random life form, then why do we care when tragedy hits?
When something bad happens, we automatically take our case or appeal to something larger. We say: “God, where are you?”
Why God Allows Bad Things to Happen
This is the heart of the matter. This is what can drive a wedge in our belief and faith.
“I’m losing respect for God,” one man said in the show. He added that he doesn’t have any love for God. He lost dozens of people he knew. He only wants to know one thing: Why, God?
“I look at him now as a barbarian,” the man says of God. “I think I’m a good Christian but I have a different view of him now,” he adds.
But God didn’t cause the events of September 11. People caused it. There are people who do wrong things, and we bear the consequences of it.
That begs the question: Why didn’t God stop it from happening?
Let’s step back a moment. If we look behind that question, there’s a premise: We all should have good lives, free of hard times and suffering. This world should be perfect.
But we know that’s not true. We know this world is messed up. There are events just as bad as September 11 going on every day – maybe just not on as grand a scale.
Children are dying every day. People are getting killed. Loved ones are losing their friends. There’s starvation in third-world countries. I think September 11 in a sense woke up a lot of people. We realized our sense of mortality. We will all die one day.
So why doesn’t God make everything right?
God has a plan. He’s already unveiled it with the coming of Jesus. The timing may not be to our liking, but God has a plan and he will overcome all the evil and suffering in this world.
Where was God on September 11? He was there, comforting, consoling and grieving that the people he created have gotten so far off track. But he understands. He has a plan and it only lacks the final ending – that’s how close the plan is to completion.
All is not lost in this world. Actually, this world is only the beginning.
There is a hope for those who believe in Jesus. We will see those believers again in heaven. And, the earth will be restored and we will live again in a new Eden. This time, there will be no fall. God will restore the world again to perfection.
We just have to wait. With hope.