Then Louise’s mind changed gears. She thought of her parents and little sister. Are they in danger? She teetered on the verge of concern then decided otherwise. They’re the ones who should be worried. Do they even know that someone took me hostage? They should have been there for me. A knot formed at the back of her throat. Tears of hostility burned her eyes. Their God… Just when her heartbeat had begun to slow, it pulsed faster again – this time with anger. Their God should have been there for me.
-Excerpt from Isolated, subject to change in final revisions
Louise is the young protagonist in my novella, Isolated. Though she wouldn’t admit them to others, she has some strong ideas about this God, the God of her parents and sister, the God of the Bible.
She herself doesn’t love Him, serve Him or even believe in Him. But assuming an all-loving God truly did exist, shouldn’t He have protected her from her kidnappers? If an all-powerful God really did oversee the affairs of the world, shouldn’t He have intervened? If this God truly was concerned with justice and capable of executing it, why didn’t He?
The questions we all ask
You may not deny the existence of a loving, powerful and just God (or maybe you do). Either way, these are questions we all tend to ask, myself included. As far as I’m aware, no one is immune. All it takes is for one thing to go wrong.
My challenge to all of us today, and I want to include myself, is to consider that those are the exception rather than the rule. We obsess over the instances when something goes wrong and we neglect every minute that they progress smoothly.
We neglect the rest He gives us at the end of the day.
We neglect the food He puts on our tables.
We neglect the breath with which He fills our lungs.
Or, if we don’t altogether neglect them, we are at least quick to let the normality of these things translate to “we deserve them. That’s why they’re a given.”
If we blame God for the times He doesn’t hold things together the way we think they ought to be held, do we also thank Him for the times He does sustain their smooth progression according to our ideas? Do we even acknowledge His hand in it?
We can’t accredit God for the bad and not for the good.
Let’s discuss it.
- What curveball in life has caused you to question God’s love, power, justice, and/or other attributes?
- Are these questions inherently wrong? How would you answer them?
- What good things in life have become normal to the point where you feel like it just ought to be that way? Perhaps you might make a list of them.
- If you do believe God is the source of these everyday gifts, do you acknowledge it both to yourself and to others? Do you live as though you’re a believer or might your words as well be the response of an atheist?