THE WAR IN YEMEN -- WHY DOES GOD LET IT HAPPEN?
We who saw it were all sobered and deeply saddened by the picture in the New York Times earlier in the week of the skin and bones young girl. She was starving in Yemen. 10,000 civilians had already died there from Saudi Arabian bombing– and 14 million were facing starvation. We learned yesterday that this girl had now starved to death.
Many have asked – why does God let this happen? If he’s all loving, he surely wouldn’t allow this to occur. And if he’s all powerful, he could have prevented it. So he’s either not all loving – didn’t want to stop this, or else he’s not all powerful – couldn’t stop it. The loving, powerful God we typically think of doesn’t exist.
But reality is that God exists and allows this. He is not cruel, but loving. His first concern is that we each have a real loving relationship with him. He could force us to follow him and obey him and love him. Would this be real love on our part? No – we’d be puppets made to dance on strings at his will. So he needs to respect our free will choices if we are to come into a free will real loving relationship with him as he desires.
The ugliness of the war in Yemen is God allowing our free choices to play out – so we will see what the world is like with men choosing not to follow God – to live for themselves, and not to get close to him, not to love him and love others, not to obey him, and not to deny themselves. He gives us a chance to turn from him and live as if he doesn’t exist so we can see what the world would be like without our following and loving him.
The good news is he doesn’t let this play out without hope and a second chance for us and the world. He has destroyed this wretched world we see around us. He made it in his Son Jesus – “in him all things were made that were made.” There also in Jesus, he destroyed it in his death, and remade it to work the right way, under his direction and those who choose to be his children by choosing God, following and loving him and developing the world as he directs. Amid the brokenness and darkness of this world we see rays of light of kindness, self-sacrifice, and generosity – such as Mother Teresa of Calcutta. We see examples in lives of how God wants people to follow him so the world works the right way.
Far from being evidence that God does not exist or love us, this sad and battered world shows that God is lovingly letting play out an individual drama with each of us – will we continue to try to live a good life without him (and see the wretched world that results), or will we choose to follow him and allow him to develop the world in his loving caring way through us his children? (as evidenced by the life lived on earth by his son Jesus.)