Please read with an open mind.
Dear Almighty God,
You are the ever powerful Being that governs all things. You are the creator of everything. You are the God from the beginning until forever. From you, out of love, born the human race.
You have created Adam and Eve, the very first people who betrayed you. If you are not bound by time, why would you let them in the first place? With that betrayal came the first ever punishments: labor to live and giving birth.
Then there were the people whom out of their sins was drowned to death in the flooding of the world. There also came the people of Israel who turn their backs from you and was eaten by the ground by Your command.
There was Hitler, who killed millions of people. Is he really born to do it? How about other people who where the likes of him? Are they born for a life that is straight to hell? What if I was destined to do the same thing? Would that make me also destined to rot in hell (unless Hitler didn’t go there)?
If the world is already decided, what is there to live for if we are already in a script of mankind (destiny). Do we really have freewill this way if everything is already foretold? Or maybe our freewill is also scripted. We are made for eternal life but with consequences of falling down to hell.
In this world was love, and so as hatred. There is peace and war. There is happiness and sorrow. People are dying of hunger. Some are in the middle of war fields. We are equipped of sympathy but also selfishness.
I know I had a good life, but a life sure that is filled with rough edges. I don’t know what if I didn’t exist in the first place. Heaven is waiting for us yet we should work out a lot to earn a piece of it. I know I am a good person, really, but I know it is not enough, yet(?).
It simply feels like you are put in a situation without a choice (you are put in this world without your consent). A situation of only two endings: up or down. It’s either you do a very hard job of being perfectly good or go easy being selfishly bad.
This is not mockery but simply honest questions from the heart. I believe in you and at the end of the day you will always be the One saving me from my troubles.
From someone still not worthy,
As this was posted in United Bloggers (facebook group), here are inspiring thoughts given by our fellow bloggers:
Dito na lang ako magkokoment… 🙂 There are many aspects in your post, one is the problem of evil, another is free will, then the cruel God of the Old Testament. Another is on working hard for salvation. Allow me to respond in the best way I can… I am a Catholic, so my responses will be based on my understanding of Catholic doctrines and teachings. The problem of evil… If God is so powerful, why can He not eradicate evil and suffering in this world? This is the so-called “problem of evil.” Theologians and philosophers have long been meditating on this philosophical question. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us that the solution to the problem of evil remains a mystery in this side of life, and its full understanding will only come to us in the afterlife… The fact is, good people DO suffer. Even the Son of God experienced extreme suffering on the cross. What did Christ gain for us? The suffering of Christ has gained for us a relationship with the Father, and eventually, with all hope, eternal life. The passion, death and ressurection of Christ provide for us a glimpse of the answer to the problem of evil – that God, being all powerful, can make good things come out of evil. Out of Christ’s extreme suffering, He has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life. We must rely on faith then that truly, “God makes all things beautiful…” On free will… Are we really free? Are we just characters in a plot created by a Greater Mind who already knows the ending? The concept of free will becomes complicated if we fuse with it the omniscience of God (that God knows everything). The erudites of the Church tell us that God’s omniscience does not interfere with our free will. Everyday, we are faced with many decisions particularly on doing what is right and what is not. And we do make our choices. Everyday, God calls us to do what is right (“Behold, I stand at the door and knock…”). Even the angels were given free will and Satan abused it. How much more we? We are at the apex of God’s love, for He sent His son to die for us so that we could have a relationship with Him, and eventually, with our own decision, spend eternity with Him… On the cruel God of the Old Testament… Reading the Old Testament solely, will present to us a cruel God, always angry, always punishing His people. A better understanding of the God of the Old Testament will come to us in the light of Jesus’ coming, life and passion in the New Testament. I encourage you to start with the Gospel of John… On salvation… The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us again that our salvation is three-fold: we have been saved by Christ on the cross, we are now working out our salvation in our relationship with Him, and with the assurance of hope, we will be saved in the end of times. Christ’s INFINITE act on the cross has paid for all imaginable sins we can ever commit. In short, God’s infinite mercy can never be outdone. Any sin is forgivable if asked with a contrite heart. And so, after asking for forgiveness, according to Saint Paul, we should work out our salvation. Catholic faith teaches that salvation is like water in a bag. Every sin punches a hole in that bag. And so, if we live a life of sin, we would eventually lose salvation. Working out our salvation means establishing a relationship with Christ, as he said “Take up your cross and follow me…” And so, we struggle this way, but we are assured that God is with us. And after giving a good fight here on earth, we hope that we will reap our true reward – our citizenship in heaven…. I hope I was helpful… Be blessed!
~Mark Balsomo Salvador, Travel and Snaps
thank you mark for the long reply.
jc, your post reminds me of the biblical figure Job. he is described as a blessed man who lives righteously. Satan challenges Job’s integrity, proposing to God that Job serves him simply because God protects him. God removes Job’s protection, allowing Satan to take his wealth, his children, and his physical health in order to tempt Job to curse God.
in the end, despite not being able to understand the depth of God’s reasons for his sufferings, Jacob exclaimed beautifully, “the Lord has given, and Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of Lord” (Job 1:21).
sure there are explanations for hunger, suffering, world catastrophes, emergence of bad people — but it is also sure that there are reasons why God allows them…
i am one with you in your ultimate questions, in your search for deeper meaning.
i am a priest and in the confessional (and even outside it) , i hear all the kind of problems people encounter everyday — from the most trivial to the most horrible. just like you, i have also a hundred and one questions about why things are like this and why things are like that.
but i take comfort in the fact that the God i believe is a God-with-us. Emmanuel.
“At kasama mo ako, at kasama rin kita sa hirap, at ginhawa. ako’y kagabay mo at may dalang pag-asa…” ay teka! kanta na pala ito.
~Father Felmar Castrodes Fiel, The Little Priest
Hahaha! Napakanta rin tuloy ako… 🙂 Thanks po Fr. Fiel for reminding me of Job too… Philip Yancey in his book “Disappointment with God” points to the wager between God and Satan… An insight he has given is that our human sufferings challenge us to also love God, like what Job did, without the “trimmings”, to love Him unconditionally too… 🙂
~Mark Balsomo Salvador
Suffering is actually the easy part. Anyone can suffer. The real challenge is gathering the inspiration, motivation, and strength to move forward in suffering’s wake – and discover life’s meaning and purpose.
ayon kay Dr. Viktor E. Frankl sa kanyang Man’s Search for Meaning, he provided details about his three years at the Nazi concentration camp, how he lost his parents, brother, and pregnant wife to Adolph Hitler’s Third Reich. But, beautifully, that wasn’t his point.
He takes his readers beyond pure survival in the immediate to the life-changing principles of deriving meaning and purpose from our sufferings. Sabi ni Lolo Viktor ko ito: “Without suffering and death human life cannot be complete. The way in which a man accepts his fate and all the suffering it entails, the way in which he takes up his cross, gives him ample opportunity – even under the most difficult circumstances – to add a deeper meaning to his life.” Ganda!
~Father Felmar Castrodes Fiel