The big problem: If God loved his children, he wouldn’t allow us to suffer war, disease, depression, poverty, starvation, etc. A “loving” father wouldn’t do that to his children.
I often hear this argument as a reasonable justification for agnosticism and atheism: At any given point in time, someone in place is starving while in another friends are going out to celebrate someone’s pay raise. How can we live with this? How can God allow this?
Whenever I think about this difficult question, two things come to mind:
1. Free Agency
1. Our freedom to choose is something God would never take away from us, though He definitely has the power to do so. Many of the ills of the world are caused by choices of individuals, leaders, etc. Abuse, for example, is one way one person can strip another’s freedom. God has given all of us free agency so that we are in charge of our mortal journey, but it certainly does not guarantee perfect happiness.
2. Our bodies are frail. They experience all kinds of problems, some of which are more painful than others. Resurrection, my friends, is a gift wrapped with limitless mercy, love and tenderness from our loving God. It is the very palpable love of God that many question the existence of.
One day, long after we’ve died, we will all be reunited with our bodies. We will rise again for eternity, but this time there will be no disease, depression, grief, mental or physical impairments, war, abuse…
Instead, we will hear the babbling of insignificant creeks with new awareness; we will hug our loved ones and feel their physical warmth; we will look down and wiggle our fingers and toes; we will never have the desire to hate ourselves or even end our lives. Death will be gone.
What gifts! What loving concessions! God allows us to earn this ultimate award by enduring mortality to the best of our abilities and knowledge. Personally, I’m looking forward to a time that I can be without depression, harmful compulsions, or frustration that my body – heaven forbid – is not “perfect” enough to be on a fashion magazine cover.
While life is no walk in the park, it is a time to get well-acquainted with both misery and joy and, though we may not have control over our mortal circumstances, we are free to choose which we want to live with after mortality.
Heavenly Father has provided us a way to get back to Him. He does not give us commandments without giving us help to keep them.