It is not at all unusual to question God when we are grieving. We wonder why God didn’t answer our prayers; why He took our loved one; why he didn’t intervene and stop something terrible from happening. We question whether God is truly good if He allowed something like this to happen. Some people will have a crisis of faith, and may walk away from God for a time. We may even be angry at God and hold him responsible for some tragic event.
There was a particularly tragic and violent death of a little girl. She was a pre-teen picture of innocence. She was popular in school, good at sports, and was the apple of her parent’s eye. We will call her Susie (not her real name). It was hot outside, and little Susie called her Mom at work. She let her Mom know she was home from school and wanted to get permission to walk down to the corner store a couple of blocks away for a soda pop. She never returned. She was kidnapped and brutally raped and murdered by a perverted evil predator of a man.
Susan’s parents were obviously devastated. How could something this horrible happen to their innocent little girl? Both of her parents were basically good people. They went to church occasionally, and tried to raise their children to be good people. Their whole world had been turned upside down, and now they were getting attention from the community and the media that they never wanted.
Susan’s parents struggled with what happened. They went from being in a state of despair, to reaching out for answers to the why questions. For over a year, they didn’t know who murdered their baby. At times they wondered if they would ever know exactly what happened. Susan’s Mom embraced her faith, and became a regular at the neighborhood church they had visited occasionally before the death of their daughter. She found comfort in the worship, and people who would love on her and lend her some of their strength. She grew in her faith and leaned heavily into God. Susan’s Dad on the other hand, became cold and bitter toward God. His anger towards himself became anger towards God as he blamed him for his daughter’s death. If only God had not allowed this meaningless death, he would have gladly served Him. Not now! Not ever again!
A good friend of mine has lived a difficult life. Even his childhood was hard and the circumstances as he grew up would shock many people. He began his career at an early age, and looked forward to what life had in store. Unfortunately, within a few short years of high school he was diagnosed with a progressive debilitating disease. He had dozens of painful surgeries related to the disease. Over the past few decades, it seems like he went from one incredibly challenging trial to the next. He survived cancer, being in a wheelchair for months at a time, and constant pain. He has suffered physically to the point he became suicidal several times – wanting to make the pain stop. Emotionally, he was put through the ringer. He was...