For years I questioned the integrity of God. "How can you be good when" "How can you be good when my child was murdered?" "How can you be good when I am dying of cancer?" How can you be good when the world is falling apart?" My biggest hurdle was the question, "Where were you" in connection to my own encounters with evil. "Where were you God, when I cried out for rescue?" Where were you when he beat me?" "Where were you when the unthinkable happened?" "Where were you when my baby died?" I believe that He has answered me and His answer revealed a covering, a protection over my life. Now instead of the constant question of why, where were you, there is a deep inner peace and knowledge that though I am not always protected from pain, I am protected from something far more debilitating... evil.
The Young's literal translation of the Bible translates the last part of the Lord's prayer in Matthew 6:13 this way "And mayest Thou not lead us to temptation, but deliver us from the
evil, because Thine is the reign, and the power, and the glory -- to
the ages. Amen." That's huge to me. Yes, Lord yes! Deliver me from THE EVIL! The evil is horrible! Everything else reverberates from there. Pain is not our enemy in fact it is our friend. It tells us something is wrong but evil is very much our enemy and it inflicts a much deeper wound than pain.
Protection from evil is not always protection from death. Isaiah 57:1 says,
"The righteous perishes,
And no man takes it to heart;
Merciful men are taken away,
While no one considers
That the righteous is taken away from evil."
But while questioning God's integrity I was looking at how I didn't feel protected. How the world seems just "out there" receiving whatever blows our way. What if we are protected. What if we have a choice to be protected or not? What if we can choose to seek God's protection or reject it? How did this earth become the perfect place for life as we know it? We have so many rings of protection around our world it is amazing! For instance the ionosphere that protects us from the harmful radiation of the sun. It has there long before we knew about it and without it we would be hard pressed to survive. How much of God's protect are we missing? Satan (the true bringing of evil) calls God's integrity into question pointing out the many catastrophes humanity is facing, yet he is not the one we cry to saying, "enough!"
I wonder all that as I wonder if we are stepping out from under God's protection as a nation... Is it that God is so cruel or is it that without Him evil will come.