So just how involved is God in all of this? Is His hand in everything? Nothing? Just the "big stuff"? Just the things "for kingdom purposes"? Regardless of where you are on the deism scale, there is no denying that God allows suffering in this world. (No, that wasn't His original intent . . . ) Does He have the ability to eliminate suffering. Absolutely. Does He choose not to? Well . . . here's where it gets sticky, huh? Does He choose to heal you and not heal me? (And if so, why?) Does He keep His hands out of it and allow "nature" to take its course? (And if so, what's the point in prayer?) Does He work only in the big things and not in the small things? (If "yes", then where is the dividing line between big and small?) Or bigger yet, does He choose to "bless me" in small ways while 18,000 children die of hunger every day?
And what about all those "God things"? You know, the job you got because you were in the right place at the right time and knew the right people. Or the $400 you gave a friend who really needed it, only to get an unexpected check in the mail that very week for the same amount. Are they really "God things" or just big coincidences? (For you Seinfeld fans: "There are no big coincidences and small coincidences, only coincidences!")
If Deism is a "1" on the scale, what I believe about God falls nothing short of a "10". I believe He saturates everything. I don't believe anything is too trivial for His attention. Yes, I think sometimes He chooses not intervene because: a) we need to learn something (like patience or frugality); or b) the result doesn't matter (which job, which house, which school - it's not about the choices so much as it is about WHO you are in those choices).
No doubt, He allows suffering - sickness, starvation, poverty, depression, death. He could prevent suffering (if not, then how can He be God?), but chooses not to because . . . ??? And if he can prevent it, but chooses not to, is that the same thing as causing suffering? (Ex: Your hand is on the doorframe. I walk up and slam the door on your hand. OR Your hand is on the doorframe. Someone else bumps the door and it begins to close on your hand. I see this happening. I can stop it, but choose to let the door slam on your hand anyway. The first one is "caused", the second one is "allowed". But if I have the ability to prevent it and don't, isn't it pretty much the same thing?)
All of this causes me to ask lots of questions in my little brain. Questions I can't answer. Questions that either build faith or nullify it. Pretty deep for a Tuesday morning when I should be working on wedding plans. . .