when bad things happen

i heard someone say recently that it wasn’t “God’s will” for a bad thing to happen.

the statement made me want to jump out of my skin.

it was a tragic thing that had happened. a lot of things that happen on this earth are. i suppose we like to think God had nothing to do with it. He’s a nice God, after all. He’s only in control of all the so-called “good” things that happen. the rest is the devil’s fault. that nasty devil. blame him for death and rape and disease and violence and all those terrible things we hear about on the news. all the “bad,” as we would define it.

but if that were true, i’d want nothing to do with a God like that.

i’ve been abused: physically, sexually, emotionally, spiritually. i’ve been betrayed and abandoned. i’ve struggled through recovery. i’ve been depressed and near suicidal. all bad things. bad things that were a part of God’s will.

as if God didn’t know what was going to happen in Eden all those years ago. yet, somehow, this world still happened.

and all that followed. cain killed abel. job lost his children. a flood wiped most of humanity. pharaoh threw babies in a river. ruth’s husband died. david had sex with bathsheba. israel faced generations of slavery and hardship. mary got pregnant outside of marriage. Jesus was tormented and nailed to a cross. stephan was stoned. paul spent many unjust years in prison. christians for generations after have been viciously persecuted and murdered.

these are all what we would define as “bad” things, but when you step back, you see the bigger picture. God’s design. a God who can make beauty come from the ashes…despite sin and its consequences. we can’t explain most of what happens here, but we somehow feel like we have to defend God, a God we hardly understand.

my heart hurts for all the pain and tragedy and injustice that happens here. i cry for people that are suffering, real and even imagined. i don’t deny that there is evil in this world – my life is evidence of that. i don’t know much, but i know God is God. He is sovereign. i can rest on that, in good and bad.


what is “bad“?


2 thoughts on “when bad things happen

  1. I’m very sorry that you have been abused and betrayed. This might seem counter to your spiritual understanding but consider this…

    What if there is no God? To me that means life is far more precious than any plan a creator might have had! Then you don’t need a Satan to explain peoples bad actions or natural happenings. You also would not have to ask why God would allow bad things to happen.

    It means we were always meant to live a finite lifespan and give our atoms back to the universe. A cycle of life and death that continues on small and large scales that we see every day.

    Without the promise of heaven or everlasting life after death our short time on this planet becomes a treasure beyond anything else we know of in this universe. And knowing that we get this one limited life means that we should even moreso love ourselves, value our time here and respect every other person’s life as our own.

    It means we don’t need stories to try to explain why we are here and comfort those who are not willing to accept they will someday no longer be. It gives meaning to a world that might otherwise seem pointless!

  2. It was never in God’s will that any of us should suffer, but he gave man “free will”, the right the choose, and man chose to live without God and harm others. God calls everyone to him, but not everyone will turn, listen, and respond. The Bible tells us that all tears will someday be wiped away. Things will be as He planned–even the earth will be cleansed and made new. Those who lived for Him, through his son, Jesus, will inherit eternal life…a life beyond our understanding right now.

    May God bless you, Sara.

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