It doesn’t take much looking to find evidence that evil and suffering are a reality. The tragedy at Virgina Tech this week was no exception. Especially significant was the death of Professor Liviu Librescu, a survivor of the Holocaust. April 16, the day of the shooting, was also Holocaust Remembrance Day, or Yom Hashoah. Interviews with students revealed that Librescu died shielding his students from gunfire.
No matter how much money is made or how secure a person is in their circumstances, everyone is touched by evil and suffering to some degree. Yet the Bible consistently calls us to trust God, and to be thankful for his care. Some have chosen to dismiss the difficulty of reconciling a trustworthy God with inexplicable evil, but to ignore it only lessens our ability to communicate God’s trustworthiness.
We can move beyond the mystery of evil and into a deep trust in God, not by explaining why evil occurs, but by knowing that God uses broken people and infuses their lives with meaning. He is not in search of the successful brokers of power and accomplishment, for upon his return, “Jesus will look us over not for medals, diplomas, or honors, but scars.”
Where do we take the miasma of pain, suffering, and evil? Philosophical speculation and rational reflection suffer shipwreck on the shoals of the enormous difficulty. The only territory left to explore rivets our gaze on the vast, unbounded ocean of the glory of God.
– From Ruthless Trust by Brennan Manning