Why Does God Allow Bad Things to Happen?
It’s a question I’ve heard over and over again during my life as a Christian. And honestly, it has a hard time residing alongside my view of God as a good, all-knowing Father.
It is where my background as a journalist fails me. As I studied towards my degree, we were trained to answer the all-important five questions of “Who, what, where, when and why?” Those first four questions are easy to answer, but it's that last one that really trips me up. But why?
Too often I find myself doing the same with God. As though we are sitting down for a one-on-one interview where I’m interrogating Him and unless He provides me with satisfactory responses, I’ll write Him off.
All in an objective manner, of course. No bias here. All opinions have equal value.
Except I cannot see both sides. I’m too close to this story. I’m a part of it. I am biased to its outcome in the very deepest way, to the center of my being.
And who am I to judge? Can I adequately judge the intentions of an all-powerful, eternal God? Can I weigh the pluses and minuses of Solomon’s death and agree that there were enough valid reasons to allow Him to die?
I cannot. I am not God. And ultimately, I am not in control.
For some, that can send shivers of fear down their spine. And I’m ashamed to admit that I see shadows of fear within myself since Solomon’s death. Fear that something terrible will happen to my other children, anxiety during driving or just a need to regulate anything else in my life that I can somehow “control.”
But maybe, if I allow it, the knowledge of God being in control can instead bring peace. A truly unshakeable peace. Because it’s foundation is not my situation, my finances, my family, or anything else that can ultimately change.
Instead, it is based on God. My peace can be found in Him alone, understanding that He truly sees the whole picture. He knows the whole story.
I don’t have to act like I have everything in control. I am freed to simply do the best I can with what I know. To follow His commands and walk in His ways. To love my family, to love my God and to be His love to others who are so desperately seeking for the kind of love that only He brings.
And we can find peace in His control. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid,” John 14:27.
Why does God allow bad things to happen? The real answer is I don't know. But God sees the whole picture. He has the whole story. And God knows.