This past Sunday I preached on the question of why God allows pain.
It’s a difficult question that’s been asked for millennia and, of course, no one has ever really come up with a rationally satisfying answer (which may be the whole point). But after this weekend I feel as though I’m closer to understanding than I’ve ever been. And what got me there? God’s word through nature – through the idea of a trophic cascade as it was presented in a little video on the impact of the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone National Park. As I read this word along side God’s word in the bible (Job in particular), a greater sense of clarity came. The beautiful ‘aha’ that I felt in the video opened the door to an even greater ‘aha’ regarding what God is doing in his world. The fact that the presence of carnivorous wolves could result in such ‘good’ in the ecosystem, gave me new perspective on the problem of pain.
After the service was done I got another reminder of why I love this church so much.
A geophysicist came up to me and said that he was just talking to a geologist about the trophic cascades I had just preached on. He said that the principle becomes even more epic if you consider the cascades that happen over geological time. What I had just spoken about in the context of ‘here and now’ (within an ecosystem at the present time), he and his friend started to apply to the many layers of ecosystems and times that now found all that presently is. Of course they’d do that!
If we think we have no idea how things work via good and evil in the present, we most certainly have no idea of they’ve worked over the past 13.8 billion years.