There's a lot of talk these days about the evil of the world and much concern about the suffering many of us experience. Questions about God, suffering, and evil will abound as the ten year anniversary of 9/11 comes and goes.
Here's something that challenges us to see things differently--
John Goldingay, a distinguished Old Testament professor, has written a remarkable memoir of his 43 year marriage, much of it challenged by his wife's experience with multiple sclerosis. In the final years before her death in 2009, she was unable to walk or even speak.
To students who often struggle intellectually with the nature of God and the reality of suffering and evil, Goldingay often says:
"It's odd that people who are not suffering often seem to fret more about this problem than people who are? . . . [The people who worry about such things] are people who each day have food to eat and sunshine to enjoy and friends to share life with and a roof over their head and God to talk to. What on earth are we to make of the fact that there is so much good in the world? Isn't that at least as striking as the fact that there is so much evil?"
Yes, that fact is at least as striking.
Taking hold of that fact more consistent with a life of prayer that's nourished by the teaching of another Old Testament scholar who writes: "And God saw all that he had made and indeed it was very good" (Genesis 1.31).