by Tom Stavola, Jr.
Why do bad things happen to good people? Why does it seem that some people suffer more than others? What kind of God would allow such heinous, vile things to occur on Earth? Why did God allow this/these tragedies to happen to me? These are all valid questions. After a tragedy, one may be tempted to assign the blame to God, but God has been in your corner from the beginning of time, and it pains Him deeply to see you suffer. He loves you regardless of your situation or the extent to which “sin” permeates your lifestyle. God desires nothing but the best for
you. He’s not a sadist who takes pleasure in your failures and tragedies. He does not “will” the death of any human being. When someone you love dies, it’s not because God “wanted” it to happen.
So, why do bad things happen?
At the genesis of the human race, God provided humankind with the opportunity to live eternally, free from suffering, as long as they listened to His will (an aside: God’s will is always the best possible result for us). This is where free will comes in. Free will is a necessary condition for love to exist, as someone cannot force love to occur; it must transpire through internal motivation. God desired that we would choose to seek Him and follow His will – a “will” that would ultimately provide us with the best possible life, since God knows us perfectly. This power to choose as we please can be detrimental (and it has proven to be).
Humankind chose to disobey God. We chose “sin” – i.e., our way – over God’s way. As a result, God gave us “our way.” This caused the spiritual distance between God and humankind to increase, and as a consequence, multiple misalignments occurred. We fell out of alignment with God on a both a spiritual level and natural level. Eternal life disappeared; death, sin, natural disasters, sickness, and every other inherently “imperfect” (un-God like) factor entered the world. This world is plagued by darkness. But God didn’t leave us in the dust. Those who are Christians know that Jesus Christ’s primary purpose was to repair this damaged connection between God and mankind. The chief result of which was the restoration of the opportunity for eternal life.
God never left us even though humankind chose to disobey and disrespect Him. The death one sees in the world is a result of the misalignment between God and humanity. But God wants you to seek Him, so He can guide you through the valleys of your life, and ultimately bring good out of bad situations. When you cried over your dead child, God was with you crying. When you got fired from that job, God already had something better to direct you toward. When your friends or family disowned you because of your lifestyle and beliefs, God was waiting to guide you to new, better friends.
God desires to be your best friend. Talk to Him as you would anyone else. He wants to lift you out of your suffering. What are the benefits of trusting God and asking for His help? It’s akin to the following: would you want to give your biological kids away to a stranger after their birth? Your life will be filled with more blessings, more triumphs, and your talents most effectively utilized if you walk with God. Suffering will still occur due to the imperfect nature of the world, but this suffering makes us stronger, if we allow God into our lives. If we don’t, suffering will defeat us, and we will not be able to live the best possible life. Blaming God for tragedies is what the enemy desires; and the enemy desires our death, both spiritually and physically.
Don’t let that happen. Stand tall after tragedy. God is grieving with us, but He will strengthen us and create endless opportunities for success if we allow Him.