“Q: Why do You allow such extreme suffering for some people?
This has to be the favourite question for unbelievers, but it’s also a question that we believers can’t always fathom.”
OLD QUESTIONS FROM YOUNG VOICES
Amie Buhari asked some teenagers to put their burning questions to God. Their questions might surprise you. God’s (perceived?) answers will definitely enlighten you.
I recently asked a group of teenagers this question: If you could ask God one question, what would it be? Now, we all know that God does answer all our questions, and we also know that we don’t always have the capacity to understand them, or always want to hear the answers. Nevertheless, we continue to question, and He patiently continues to answer. I thought it would be interesting to find out exactly what kind of questions are on our young people’s minds, and just how similar they are to ours. It would seem that, even though times change, the fundamental questions we have throughout life don’t!
Here are three of the age-old questions from very young voices I would like to address. So, if you would permit me, by stepping into the big shoes of the Almighty and drawing on Scripture, I will attempt to explore and answer some of these questions.
Question: Why do You feel so distant sometimes?
Answer: Because sometimes you disconnect yourself from Me, and getting back to where we were takes time. Sometimes I’m teaching you to fully rely on Me and, in order for you to do that, you need to know what it’s like when you don’t feel My presence, but still have faith to believe that I am here and love you. When you are in sin, or doing your own thing, or allowing things to block our connection, it’s much harder to hear Me speaking. Remember My words: “As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you, nor forsake you” (Joshua 1:5).
Q: Why do You allow such extreme suffering for some people?
This has to be the favourite question for unbelievers, but it’s also a question that we believers can’t always fathom. As a young person growing up, being told that God is all-loving, but seeing that He appears to not do anything when bad things happen to people, can be an oxymoron and has the potential to be quite damaging. That old chestnut, ‘free will’, needs to be explained more to our young people from a young age.
A: None of us is exempt from trials and tribulation. Suffering comes to us all, even Me – God! When I sent My Son to take away your sins and pain, He suffered like nothing you could imagine. When He was full with your sin; I couldn’t even look at Him; My heart broke. I see you all going about, making decisions that have such a negative impact on your lives, and it hurts Me as much as it hurts you. I allow it, because you have the freedom to make your own decisions. Some things just happen, and even if I tried to explain it to you, you would not be able to understand. But within the bad times, there is always an opportunity to experience the good; to grow closer to Me, so you can survive all suffering; to see My promises and power in action to help others. You must remember that this is your temporary home. The devil is running this world. You ate of the fruit, and took matters into your own hands, but I have promised you that there will be “a new Heaven and a new earth, for the first Heaven and the first earth had passed away.” Look! “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Revelation 21:1-4). Stick with Me; I will carry you through the storms of life.
Q: How do you get to Heaven and still enjoy yourselves as a teen?
Wow, I asked a similar question myself as a teenager, when I was up in the club and engaging in usual teenager life. How many times did I say ‘Sorry’ to God in those years! But my relationship with God was so important to me, as was the need to enjoy myself with friends. King Solomon comes to mind, when he wrote, “I said to myself, ‘Come now, I will test you with pleasure to find out what is good.’ I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. Yet, when I surveyed all that my hands had done, and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 2:1-3, 10-11).
A: Don’t think for a minute that I don’t want you to have fun, to enjoy yourself in your youth. My question to you is, do you have to engage in potentially harmful activities to do so? Does ‘having fun’ mean compromising your faith? It may not seem bad to you at the time, but the lifelong affects can be detrimental. The momentary pleasure you receive from earthly things is nothing in comparison to the eternal pleasure you can find in Me. I can give you everlasting joy, peace and laughter. I love you, and only want what is best for you. Try Me and see.
Amie Buhari is a youth leader and actress