Monday, April 6, 2009

A Matter of Trust

HUMANS HAVE ALWAYS inquired into why God allows us to suffer. The volume of writing, spanning thousands of years, on what philosopher's call "The Problem of Evil" is testimony to the fact that we humans, regardless of our other beliefs, want to know why we suffer.

This past Sunday's reading from the Coptic Lectionary opens with a first-century question about suffering: "Who sinned? This man or his parents, that he was born blind?"

For Abba Dorotheos of Gaza, at least, the question of suffering is ultimately a question of trust:
If a man has a friend and he is absolutely certain that his friend loves him, and if that friend does something to cause him suffering and be troublesome to him, he will be convinced that his friend acts out of love and he will never believe that his friend does it to harm him. How much more ought we to be convinced about God who created us, who drew us out of nothingness to existence and life, and who became a man for our sake and died for us, and who does everything out of love for us?*

*Wheeler, E.P. Dorotheos of Gaza: Discourses and Sayings (Cistercian Studies Series, No 33)Cistercian Publications, 1977


Jake said...

What is interesting about this is the "love" factor. Unfortunately many people can't grasp this idea and just see God as cruel based on their own standards. I just skimmed through a book (a best-seller at that!) that made this claim, but it just came off as arrogant to me. Apparently, they know best.

magik said...

Thanks for that.

"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose."
(Romans 8:28)

elgreca262 said...

do not judge lest ye be judged. Maybe we should stop judging God. sometimes we have to attatch ourselves to Jesus' suffering and not just the ressurection.