“Why did God let this happen?”
I have heard this question voiced over and over as there are so many tragedies and truly unspeakable things that happen in this world. It recently became personal to me in a new way.
I shared with you that we had an emergency with our puppy last week. In case you didn’t see, I hit our puppy with my van. She made a recovery, but that night things looked really, really bad. And it was a really bad night. My boys both saw her after the accident, and they were both devastated.
While my husband was rushing the puppy to the vet, the boys and I stayed home. We cried, and prayed, and talked.
In the midst of this, my oldest said, “Mommy, why did God let this happen?”
My youngest added, “Yeah, mommy, why didn’t God help you see her so you didn’t hit her?”
I felt like I had been punched in the gut. Mainly because I couldn’t answer their question.
A Sovereign God
I have heard it taught, and I know many will argue that God did not allow it to happen. Some things just happen because we live in a fallen world.
But I believe in a sovereign God. I believe that He is still on the throne and is ultimately still in charge. I believe He could have said the word and our accident would not have happened. Just like that. So, I have to believe deep in my spirit that the Lord did allow this to happen. And that is a comfort to me. It’s such a comfort to know that God is in control, and that everything in my life goes through Him first. It’s not happenstance. It’s very intentional and according to His purpose.
But at the same time, I have to be honest. I don’t know why.
There are tragedies and bad things that happen every day and I don’t know why.
What I do know
I might not know why bad things happen. And I couldn’t answer my kids when they asked me why did God not help me see Rosie.
But there are a few things that I do know about the Lord, which overshadow the unanswered questions for me. And while I can’t answer all the “why’s” for my children, I can assure them of these things.
- God is good. (Psalm 100:5). There are many verses throughout scripture that remind us of this fact. God is good. When our situations aren’t good, He still is. Always.
- I am redeemed. (Romans 8:38-39). I love the song, “It is well with my soul.” It’s such a great reminder to me in tough times. God’s word says that nothing can separate us from His love. When we keep our eyes focused on Him, the burdens of this life are much easier to get through. If we can just remember the sacrifice, remember the promise, that can overshadow any pain in this life. It is well with my soul.
- His ways are not our ways. (Isaiah 55:8). There are things in this life that I don’t understand. Things that don’t make sense to me. But that is to be expected. We serve a big God. His ways are not our ways, and I am so thankful for that fact! If God were so easily understood by our small minds, He wouldn’t be the awesome creator that He is! He is all knowing, all seeing, omnipresent, sovereign. He knows better than we do!
- All things work together for good…(Romans 8:28). God’s word tells us that all things work together for God for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. Sometimes this “good” might be physical/temporal-oftentimes bad situations and closed doors lead to better things. Sometimes the “good” might be spiritual. The Bible tells us that hardships draw us closer to the Lord. They lead us into the person He is creating us to be. And sometimes we won’t know about it until we reach glory! But that’s okay. We walk by faith.
- His Grace is Sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9). No matter what the situation, His grace is sufficient. Yes, He allows hardships to come into our lives, but He also gives us the strength we need to face them, if we let Him.
- He will never leave me or forsake me. (Hebrews 13:5) In Matthew 28:20, Jesus says, “I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” Bad things happen. But the Lord never leaves you to face them alone. He is always there.
What are some of the promises you hold to when bad things happen?