What Proves Nothing

What Proves Nothing December 29, 2023

A famous soccer player hurt themselves six minutes into their final game and declared this proved, “There is no God.”

However, that’s such a silly arguement, it shouldn’t receive any press.  What it proves is, what we’ve always known but constantly try to forget; our bodies will fail us.   We will suffer.  It is part of life.  We will eventually die.  This is also part of life.   None of us needed proof that our bodies would fail us, but if the famous soccer player was looking for something the injury could help prove, it would be that we are not machines and we will eventually break down no matter how famous, wealthy or healthy we are.

Suffering does not prove the existence or non-existence of an all knowing all loving God.  Indeeed, Jesus goes out of His way to illustrate the point by inviting His disciples into the boat. A storm arises and they cry out, “Lord save us.” because the waters are swamping the boat.

Being a follower of Christ is not a shield against experiencing difficulties, it is however, a promise that in all things, even suffering, God is with us.  He accompanies us in all things.

We might ask why God allows suffering, and why God allows for all the stresses and evils and sins throughout history?

Yet if God were to strike down everyone who sinned, who damaged another by their words or deeds, inactions or actions, in this life, would we stand?  And would we love a God we feared lay in waiting for our missteps?  I submit, we would not.  We could not and do not love what we only fear.  Our God is not holding an anvil over our heads waiting for us to fail.

God longs for our love, for our friendship, which means He must allow for our freewill to act.  He must also offer us over and over again, the opportunity to respond to His love. It is we who seek to flee from His friendship, from His company, by our sins.  By our choices that place our wants above what is truly good, and above others, and before God, we tell Him we do not want to be in relationship with Him.

So we live in a world that is incomplete, and longing to be whole, if not holy.

We must expect there will be torn ACL’s and skinned knees, broken hearts and promises, time and opportunties lost and wasted.   In every life, seasons of feast and famine, of grief and goodness abound.  God loves us through all our seasons, and His love is most evident in those times when all the other gifts are absent –when it is only His comfort that keeps us from the great darkness that is the alternative.

It is in the darkness of that night that we discover the truth, that God has always been and will always be, unfair in our favor.  He invites us at every mass, at every sacrament, to begin anew, a life infused with His love.  God invites us every day to cooperate with His grace.  Why does it take all that starkness for us to discern His love? All His gifts are good, and all that goodness can blind us to the origin of all that good.

Another meme this week argued that people turn to God when things are bleakest because we are desperate to fill the void.   The reality is, when we are most aware of the void, it is because everything else is insufficient.  God alone suffices.   It is when nothing else satisfies that we recognize the hole in our own lives, is designed for the one who is infintie.

All that good we love and seek and want to be steeped in, can make us so cozy, we stop recognizing these gifts as gifts.  They in their multitude can blind us to the Giver, and convince us that these things are deserved, merited, and the result of exclusively us.  Riches blind us to God in part because they create the illusion of self-sufficiency, and substitute security and sating for love that surpasses all the gifts this world could offer.

So pray for all those souls that mistake the absence of suffering as proof, or the presence of suffering as proof, of the grace or existence of God.  They need to discover the more they’re missing.   God’s being is, and our existence –whether abounding in luxuries or awash in troubles, is of ultimate importance to God.

God longs for our friendship, howsoever we come to offer it.    He will use all our moments of triumph, and all our struggles as means of introducing Himself.   God’s offering us a chance at something bigger and better than ourselves and all our best moments, as a gift we’ve refused up to now to experience.

mage by Michael Schwarzenberger from Pixabay
mage by Michael Schwarzenberger from Pixabay


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