Year 9 Christian Studies students are just completing their Term One unit that investigates human suffering and pain. The causes of human suffering are many and varied and as we move through life we all encounter different forms of hardship to a greater or lesser extent. One of the challenging questions within the unit is how does God fit into the bigger picture of all the suffering that occurs? Down through the centuries some philosophers have used the existence of suffering as proof that God does not exist. These types of debates will always occur but there are other angles to investigate. The question of God’s involvement in situations of hardship and suffering is one that brings challenge and encouragement to all of us.
As we face the present health crisis it is easy to get caught up with the natural tendency to ‘bunker down’ and only be concerned about our own personal security. It is this thinking that is leading to our supermarkets being emptied of food and the abuse of store personnel who are endeavouring to maintain some semblance of order and fairness. In amongst this, some of our neighbours – neighbour being defined by other Australians - are or will be, facing significant hardship as their means of income disappears amongst all the social and economic ramifications of the crisis.
What is God endeavouring to do? It is there in bible verse. He is longing for us to rescue the weak and needy. This is always His will for us but the need is heightened at times of crisis and great challenge such as now. It is a real blessing to draw strength from the fact that God is providing all we need to cope with the challenges ahead of us. As we recognise this, we are empowered by Him to provide help to others who so badly need it. May this be true in our lives in the weeks and months ahead. May our God of love and goodness lead us who have plenty to share with others who do not have enough so that justice and mercy prevail in our world and His will is enacted as he calls us to be His agents of love and service.