Christians are afraid to admit it, but there have been times in their lives when we have, at least in the recesses of our minds, questioned why God has allowed tragedies to happen to Believers. When we hear of a Christian family being wiped out in an auto accident, something within us wants to ask, “WHY?” When a fire destroys a church and many innocent children are killed, we shake our heads trying to keep our faith focused on the sovereignty of God. What about cancer and other diseases that have taken a loved one from their family? Some of us have been taught never to question God, just to accept what happens and move on.
When I was growing up, I was continually asking my father questions about things I did not understand, or things that I felt needed an explanation. My father could tell by my tone and attitude whether I was sincerely wondering, or if I was just trying to prepare for a challenge to his authority. I believe our Heavenly Father invites our questions and queries, but He also sees what our motives are. Are we honestly seeking an answer or are we challenging His wisdom? Whenever we focus on God as our “spiritual genie” we will be tempted to question anything we do not understand. Some many Christians have the attitude that God owes them something, or at least owes them an explanation if things do not turn out the way they expected. I hate to pop their helium balloon, but God doesn’t owe anyone anything! What we have received from Him is His Grace, which encompasses every aspect of our lives, and that should be enough to sustain us all the way to the Heavenly Gates. For generations we have tried to mold God’s Grace into a religion that would fit our desires and fleshly cravings. Whenever we face a situation that does not compute with our “religion,” we join the community choir questioning God’s involvement or lack of such. If we have the right attitude in questioning God, we will receive an answer which at the least will be, “…My grace is sufficient for you: for my strength is made perfect in weakness…” (II Cor. 12:9) No matter if we fail to understand why tragic things happen to Believers, we must stand on the assurance that all things work together for good. (Rom 8:28)
Why do tragedies happen to faithful people? I could give some strong theological reasoning by taking Scripture out of its context to explain God’s lack of intervention, but it would be the finite trying to explain the Infinite. What I do know is that God will be there in the midst of the tragedy to hold the grieving in His arms. I do know that He is the clear and present help in time of need. I do know He will bring the peace that passes all understanding to the hurting. Not to be callous, but is death so awful that we fail to see what awaits the Believer beyond our shores? Absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. (II Cor. 5:8) The Apostle Paul was literally having a struggle of whether to welcome death or to stay on preaching the gospel. (Philip. 1:23,24) I wish we could witness the end result of every tragedy, for I am sure we would see God’s grace overshadowing all aspects.
When bad things happen to good people, it is not time to question, but to respond to the outstretched arms of our Lord. Life is full of questions and disappointments, but we never have to face them alone. What I do know is that when I don’t understand why certain things happen the way they do, I can stand on the promise that He will be there to help me when my faith is being challenged. He will be there as I walk through those unchartered valleys. We must come to the point of accepting that His ways are not always our ways (Isaiah 55:8, 9,) but let our ways always be His ways. Where was God when the tragedy struck? He was there all the time; we just did not recognize Him and how He was involved.