“In the moral conflict now raging around us, whoever is on God’s side is on the winning side and cannot lose; whoever is on the other side is on the losing side and cannot win. Here there is no chance, no gamble. There is freedom to choose which side we shall be on, but no freedom to negotiate the results of the choice once it is made.” A.W. Tozer
What Hollywood Believes – Michael J. Fox
In an interview about his battle with Parkinson’s disease Michael J. Fox said, “I just feel like I’ve been in God’s pocket for so long. I just didn’t think that I was going to be hammered with this. That I would find a way to live with it, to learn from it and deal with it. And I have.”
Although initially devastated at the diagnosis, he said, “I never had a moment where I fell to my knees and said . . . , ‘Oh, God, this is horrible.’ You know, ‘Why has Thou forsaken me? What is this?’ I never had that moment. What I had was, ‘Wow. Okay. That’s not what I was expecting.’”
At one point Fox underwent a brain operation. Asked whether he was afraid, he replied, “I had full faith in my doctors, and I had full faith in God.”
As a result of this disease, his vision of life has also been altered. “It’s made me stronger. A million times wiser. And more compassionate,” Fox said. “I’ve realized I’m vulnerable, that no matter how many awards I’m given or how big my bank account is, I can be messed with like that. The end of the story is you die. We all die.”
No doubt many were moved to tears when Michael J. Fox began his battle with Parkinson’s disease, and asked the question, “Why is there suffering anyway?” Perhaps some concluded, “That proves there is no ‘loving’ God.” Let’s consider this important concept.
Study the soil for a moment. It naturally produces weeds. No one plants them; no one waters them. They even stubbornly push through cracks of a dry sidewalk. Millions of useless weeds sprout like there’s no tomorrow, strangling our crops and ruining our lawns. Pull them out by the roots, and there will be more tomorrow. They are nothing but a curse.
Consider how much of the earth is uninhabitable. There are millions of square miles of barren deserts in Africa and other parts of the world. Most of Australia is nothing but miles and miles of useless desolate land. Not only that, but the earth is constantly shaken with massive earthquakes. Its shores are lashed with hurricanes; tornadoes rip through creation with incredible fury; devastating floods soak the land; and terrible droughts parch the soil. Sharks, tigers, lions, snakes, spiders, and disease-carrying mosquitoes attack humanity and suck its life’s blood. The earth’s inhabitants are afflicted with disease, pain, suffering, and death.
Think of how many people are plagued with cancer, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, emphysema, Parkinson’s (like Fox), and a number of other debilitating illnesses. Consider all the children with leukemia, or people born with crippling diseases or without the mental capability to even feed themselves. All these things should convince thinking minds that something is radically wrong. Did God blow it when He created humanity? What sort of tyrant must our Creator be if this was His master plan?
Sadly, many use the issue of suffering as an excuse to reject any thought of God, when its existence is the very reason we should accept Him. Suffering stands as terrible testimony to the truth of the explanation given by the Word of God. The Bible is the supernatural testament of our Creator about why there is suffering . . . and what we can do about it.
The Bible tells us that God cursed the earth because of Adam’s disobedience (sin).Weeds are a curse. So is disease. Sin and suffering cannot be separated. Again, the Scriptures inform us that we live in a fallen creation. In the beginning, God created man perfect, and he lived in a perfect world without suffering. The original creation was “good” and was not filled with violence and bloodshed. It was heaven on earth. When sin came into the world, death and misery came with it.
But the day will come when the entire creation will be delivered from the “bondage of corruption” and there will be no more curse. In that coming Kingdom, in the new heaven and new earth, there will be no more pain, suffering, disease, or death. We are told that no eye has ever seen, nor has any ear heard, nor has anyone ever imagined the wonderful things that God has in store for those who love Him.286 Think for a moment what it would be like if food grew with the fervor of weeds. Consider how wonderful it would be if the deserts became incredibly fertile, if creation stopped devouring itself and humanity. Imagine if the weather worked for us instead of against us, if disease completely disappeared, if pain was a thing of the past, if death was no more.
The dilemma is that we are like a child whose insatiable appetite for chocolate has caused his face to break out with ugly sores. He looks in the mirror and sees a sight that makes him depressed. But instead of giving up his beloved chocolate, he consoles himself by stuffing more into his mouth. Yet, the source of his pleasure is actually the cause of his suffering.
The whole face of the earth is nothing but ugly sores of suffering. Everywhere we look we see unspeakable pain. But instead of believing God’s explanation and asking Him to forgive us and change our appetite, we console ourselves by feeding on sin’s sweet delicacies. There we find solace in its temporal pleasures, thus intensifying our pain, both in this life and in the life to come.