I have just finished watching a story about a woman fighting cancer which her doctor discovered on the day she gave birth to a perfect little girl: what a tragedy!
Most days, I can hardly turn my head without learning of something that spells pain and disaster for so many people. And for those who believe in God, perhaps the most difficult question that anyone can put to them is: why and how can a “good God” let such terrible things go on?
While I certainly would never think to say I had an answer to this, I do believe that the Bible gives us a piece to the puzzle, as it were.
In Matthew chapter 13, Jesus tells this story: a farmer planted his field with good seed. And while the man was sleeping, an enemy came and planted weed seeds among the good. When all the seed grew, the helpers came to the farmer asking, “Didn’t you plant good seed? Now we have both good grain and weeds!” The farmer replies, “An enemy has done this.”
Two things strike me in this story. First, the helpers think the farmer has planted weeds in his own field. The second thing I notice is the farmer knows exactly who has caused the trouble. Now, the idea that the farmer has spoiled his own field is pretty ridiculous, but we often find it easy to draw the wrong conclusion when we do not have all the information. And on the second point, I understand that the farmer does, indeed, have all the information he needs. He knows what is going on and he knows who has planted the weeds.
From cover to cover, the Bible depicts a conflict over God’s character; rarely is His existence doubted. But He is very often accused of “planting the weeds.” If any of you reading this have had to stand by helplessly while a loved one made and executed destructive choices, perhaps you have a small insight into God’s dilemma. And while I observe the “weeds” all around me, I am also aware of the “good grain” that grows as well. And the good I see around me is what compels me to trust in the rescue that is promised in that same story.
Peggy Corbett is a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church congregation.