Listening to the radio today I was propelled into deep thought when the show's host posed this question to his audience: "Does God cause bad things to happen? If we can praise and thank when we receive blessings, shouldn't we question and curse God when bad things happen?" Of course he was responding to the horror of the earthquake and aftermath in Haiti a few days ago. Tragic events often incite similar questions within my own head. I think for anyone who believes in a loving and merciful God it is natural to agonize over how this faith fits into the reality of a dark and sometimes terrifying world. We must at some point find a way to resolve our image of Him with the terrible things we experience or witness in this world; how else can we keep our faith strong? In contemplating this today, I think I've come a little closer to finding a way to be at peace with this myself. I believe God, who is love, created the world, and His creation was perfect. A loving God did not create a world with disasters that eradicate humans. This was not in His plan. Everything in His creation was ordered and worked together in harmony. That is, until He created us in His image, giving us dominion over the rest of His creation and the free will to choose to live in union with Him, as He intended. Because of His great love for us He gave us this free will, or else we would be nothing but robotic slaves programmed to love and walk with Him (that is not love.) Unfortunately, we, ("Adam and Eve"), chose to break union with God and separate ourselves from Him by disregarding his commandments. In sinning, we invited death and disorder into the world not only in a spiritual sense but also in a physical sense. When we created this chasm between ourselves and God, we disrupted the natural order that God intended His creation to follow. Now creation follows a different order in which the ground is unstable and terrible disasters claim and threaten human life on a daily basis. It is the order we created and chose to follow. God allows this order to persist not because He wills terrible things to befall us but because we chose this order and in His infinite love, He abides by it. I believe He weeps at the pain we suffer here on Earth and in His mercy has given us the capacity over time to invent ways to help ease people's pain. Things like medicine, clean drinking water, advanced transportation systems, communication technology, etc. All the good things that are happening now in the wake of this disaster, these come from God. It is possible to praise God for good things that happen and not curse Him for bad things, because all good things DO come from Him. And bad things are a result of an agitated natural order that will be transformed anew on the "Day of the Lord." In summary, I think of it like I've read time-travel scenarios play out. If a person travels back in time and alters the course of history, the world continues in a different reality from that point on. When we sinned, we altered the course of our own history.