One objection to God that has gathered my attention lately is the question why would God allow suffering and death. Why the loss of a child? Why death from covid? How could God do such a thing especially when one sees the evil done toward children from other people and from the harsh environment of the world itself. This question for me was resolved long ago and for those asking this question now the answer is found in understanding the world from God’s perspective.
We are always so wrapped up in ourselves. Focusing on our loss or our expectations. And here is the big perspective issue… We live and view this world as the end. This world is not our home. This world is temporary and trying to get comfortable here in such a way that we delude ourselves into thinking it is forever leaves us to question God when this world is not forever.
6 So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, 7 for we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9 So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. 2 Corinthians 5:6-9 ESV
There are two homes. The temporary home and the home with God in eternity. Paul uses a Greek word for home that is only found in these few verses ἐνδημέω (endēmeō). The definition is to be among one’s own people, dwell in one’s own country, stay at home. Paul is saying here that we are of good courage because while here in this temporary body we are with brother and sisters in Christ. And we are also of good courage if dead because we are at home with our heavenly father dwelling in our true home with our true people.
We see a tragedy where people die due to an accident and we question God. Why Lord? Jesus responded to an accident that happened where a tower (under construction, due to negligent building practices, or due to earthquake we don’t know) collapsed and killed 18 people. It must have been all the news because Jesus brought it up. Were the 18 judged by God and the preverbal lighting bolt fell from the sky? Where the 18 in the wrong place at the wrong time? Why Lord?
3 No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. 4 Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? 5 No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” Luke 13:3-5 ESV
Jesus offers no answer to the “why” question. He only notes that everyone is a sinner and unless we repent, we will perish. God owes me no answers. He is God and he has ordered the days of my life. We are promised nothing beyond today because this life, this time, this world, and this universe are temporary. If God permits a child to die that child while taken from us here and now is reunited with God in eternity. We greave and it is a hardship that can break hearts we take good courage, as Paul writes, that this child is at home with God.
12 So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.
13 Return, O Lord! How long? Have pity on your servants!
14 Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
Psalms 90:12-14 ESV
The pain of lost loved ones is real and I do not wish to diminish that for anyone who has lost, but I also want us all as we approach God see things from His perfect perspective. He has limited our time on earth. He calls us to repentance for our own actions and we like Paul can take good courage in knowing that our true home is with Christ in Heaven.
9 So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil. 2 Corinthians 5:9-10 ESV