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Why?
On the night of October 13, 1942, a group of Marines on Guadalcanal had a special celebration for a young private who they affectionately called “The Kid.” That ...

Why?

On the night of October 13, 1942, a group of Marines on Guadalcanal had a special celebration for a young private who they affectionately called “The Kid.” That afternoon a rare delivery of mail had brought news that the Kid’s wife had finally had her baby.

Sgt. Jim O’Leary, one of the toughest noncommissioned officers in the unit, was especially excited, as he had taken a special interest in the expectant father over the weeks of anxious waiting for this news. He organized a party and led the celebration on a night seemingly blessed by the absence of the usual air attacks.

Later that night, however, the Japanese launched a frenzied all-out attack on the Marine lines. During a lull in the fighting a Navy chaplain went forward to help with the wounded. In the darkness, he found Jim O’Leary wandering in a daze, his face streaked with tears. When O’Leary recognized the chaplain, he yelled:

“The Kid’s dead… he’s gone. What the h ___ good are your prayers and your religion? Did they stop the shrapnel that tore half his head off? Why wasn’t it me instead of him? If there is really a God and He had to have a human sacrifice, why couldn’t He have been satisfied with O’Leary, instead of taking a kid with a young wife and a brand new baby who’ll never see his father? Why should anyone believe and trust in Jesus or Mary when they’ve allowed a crime like this to happen? Why did it happen, Padre? Why? Why?”

Knowing it wouldn’t help much at the moment, the chaplain softly replied, “ We must take God on faith. ”

Books have been written attempting to answer this apparent riddle. If God is good and all-powerful, how can he let such bad things happen? The answer lies in how God created human beings and the universe. It was his plan that humans have the freedom to do good and bad, and that nature should create and destroy according to properties that he established. He doesn’t cause our pain, but he knows that we will be blessed by it if it brings us closer to him.

I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.

—Psalm 27:13–14


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