A gracEmail subscriber writes that during a private Bible study with a young couple, the young lady suddenly broke down in tears, stating she had been sexually molested by her stepfather from age four to 11. “Why would a loving, all-powerful God allow this to happen?” she asked. The questioner asks how I would answer her.
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This young lady’s situation highlights a fundamental moral problem for which there is no glib answer. Her story proves that we live in a fallen world in which God temporarily allows humans to exercise their sinful natures to do evil, often at the expense of other people. God could have created human beings incapable of wicked and destructive behavior. However, such beings also would have been unable to experience the pleasure of intentional fellowship with God or to know the joy of doing good. In short, they would not be human beings like us at all but different creatures altogether.
Clearly, God’s love is not evident in the evil that people do. God’s compassion is seen, however, in the care and healing ministered by those who know him, in the redemption he has provided through Jesus Christ the Savior and Healer, and in the fact that he will confront all unrepentant wrongdoers and victimizers some day with the full consequences of their evil deeds.
In the meantime, we who have experienced God’s love are called to share it with others who suffer all kinds of hurts and abuse. The Holy Spirit can use us as channels of blessing and light, to anoint broken spirits with healing balm of divine kindness. The old hymn tells the truth when it says: “Deep in the human heart, crushed by the tempter, feelings lie buried that grace can restore.” Let us pray for sensitive eyes, receptive ears and tender hearts, that we may be aides of the Great Physician himself and agents of divine healing to many.