Way back in 2004, my old band Purpose/Fenetiks (later became Purpose Defined – miss you guys!) recorded a song for a compilation for Urban Pacifika records called “Dear Dad”… the original version is floating around different places here and there in NZ, but here’s a taste of a version we did a couple of Christmases ago here with ENCS MUSIC for the CS Music Songwriters event that year (check the lyrics out in the information tab of the clip) :
Recently I heard a track from the Roots called Dear God 2.0 (the original was by Monsters of Folk), which asks very much the same questions to God in light of recent events of tragedy whether they be with regards to the economy or natural disasters. Check these Black Thought (the lead emcee of the Roots) lyrics out from the verse:
And why do haters separate us like we siamese?
Technology turning the planet into zombies
Everybody all in everybody’s dirty laundry
Acid rain, earthquakes, hurricane, tsunamis
Terrorist, crime sprees, assaults, and robberies
Cops yellin’ stop, freeze
Shoot him before he try to leave
Air quality so foul, I gotta try to breath
And we runnin’ out of trees
If I could hold the world in the palm of these
Hands, I would probably do away with these anomalies
Everybody checkin’ for the new award nominee
Wars and atrocities
Look at all the poverty
Ignoring the prophecies
More beef than broccoli
Weak world economy
Stock market topplin’
Mad marijuana oxycotton and klonopin
Everybody out of it?
Well I’ve been thinkin’ about
And I’ve been breakin’ it down
Without an answer
I know I’m thinking out loud
But if you’re lost and around
Why do we suffer?
Why do we suffer?
I think that for a prolific and influential, Grammy award winning hip hop band like the Roots (which I have followed since their album “Do You Want More” back in 1995) to be asking this question up front on their first single for their new album, shows the prominence of the question at the forefront of everyones mind… (and these guys don’t claim to be a followers of Christ or any monotheistic faith’s deity for that matter):
Where is God in the midst of all of this suffering?
Rather than attempt to answer this very sublimely complex question in the blogsphere, let me point you towards some things that may be helpful for those that are in situations where this question has arisen?
- More than half of the Psalms are laments or songs that cry out… that’s always a good start.
- Philip Yanceys book “Where is God When it Hurts”
- The CS Lewis classic book “The Problem of Pain”
- Tim Kellers sermon entitled “If God is good, why is there suffering in the world?”
- Joshua Harris preached at my church, ENCS a few weeks ago “What about suffering?”
- Any of these messages from John Piper
- I shared a few thoughts in this message I shared at ENCS about Stephen
These are but a few thoughts and there are many out there regarding God and suffering, and having been allowed the honour to be entrusted to go through what I’ve gone through in the last year (you can see it in this blogpost) it’s comforting to know that 1) God knows suffering like no one else when Jesus died the way he did, 2) he promises to never leave us in good times and bad.
To every follower of Christ out there – knowing that this is a prevalent question today on most peoples hearts, this is a call to a deeper “Baca” (Psalm 42) type of Theology.
One that knows, loves and worships God, even when it doesn’t make sense.