"Is There a God?"
These were the first words a caller spoke to me on Tuesday, September 11, 2001. Not Hi, or How are you. I immediately translated the words to infer, "If there is a God, how could He allow this to happen?" My reply was, "Oh yes, there certainly is a God!"
We make the mistake of expecting God to be in absolute control of everything at all times. We pray to Him expecting to change the course of things to suit our individual and collective needs and wants. If He doesn't do this we doubt His existence. We use tragedies of every kind as a proof of His non-existence. A God would not allow this to happen!
But if God were to be in control of everything we do, we would not have free will. We would not have the ability to chose right from wrong. We would be robots! There would be no merit in our actions and even in our thoughts. (Because they would need to be controlled as well.)
No, God created man in his own likeness which means that we have the ability to make decisions. We can then demonstrate our love of God by the decisions we make. If we can think for ourselves and decide what to do, it follows that we can chose to do evil. God started mankind as good. Adam made the first wrong move and Cain really messed it up. It has been a struggle between good and bad since then. God did not make a mistake, we did. But the system could not be any other way and make sense.
And you say, "What about natural disasters?" There will be earthquakes, storms, avalanches and floods. It is in the nature of the earth (and universe) to build, renew and sustain itself. God didn't make us build our homes in a flood plain, on the edge of the sea, or at the base of a volcano. Even the simplest animal knows where to go to protect himself from a storm.
But what of sickness and disease? We do not chose to get sick. But we have chosen to eat and drink too much and of food and drink that is not healthy. We have made choices that poison the air, the water, and the land we live on. We have indulged in practices that spread disease.
Then we blame the problem on God or use it to claim He does not exist. That is not logical!
So if god has set the universe in motion and just lets things happen, Why Pray?