Francis Chan said something like this this past weekend at one of our stops in Arkansas. He was asking the question “Do we really want to be like Jesus?” It’s a good question.
Jesus, he said, is asking us to follow Him, not just believe in Him, and He doesn’t make it easy. Jesus says I’m going to walk through this door over here, do you want to come? Do you want to follow me, because there are some crosses right out there on the other side and you may have to carry one up a hill and they might nail you to it? Or you might never see your parents again? Can you do that? Some people might hate you, is that something you can handle? Do you really want to follow me?
He went on to remind us that Jesus wasn’t rich and asked again if we wanted to be like Him.
Then he communicated, again, something I know and I’ve said before but he said it in a way I’ve never thought to, in a way that made me stop and evaluate myself: You may be asking God, “If you’re so loving and great why is there so much suffering in the world?” And I think, he said, God will ask us the same question some day when we get to Heaven: “If you thought I was so loving and good then why was there so much suffering in the world?”
I’ve heard others say it this way: The question to ask when we see suffering and evil in the world is not “Where is God?” The question to ask is “Where are God’s people?”