“God has a plan…And everything does happen for a reason. In fact, Paul tells us to ‘know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose’…His promise isn’t that bad things don’t happen…His promise is that God can turn every circumstance into something good. Every circumstance. Sometimes we just need to look….Sometimes it takes a lot of time to see it. Sometimes we don’t get to see it all – but somehow our suffering aids others. The key is trusting the Master through it all.” (William Sirls, The Reason)
I just finished reading this great book, The Reason, by William Sirls. It was great because it tackled the age old question, “Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?” At the same time, I’m reading another book, nonfiction this time, titled “The Grace of God,” by Andy Stanley. Both books, even though talking about different subjects, intertwine to reinforce the answer to the above question people have grappled with for years.
In fact, even though I thought I’d come to terms with the answer myself, this past spring I again found myself struggling. I was introduced to the Sauer family through my cousin and her Facebook page. Ms. Sauer had been writing a blog for years and this past February, her four-year-old son, one of a set of twin boys, was diagnosed with cancer. BlueforBen was created and their family’s story spread almost overnight. I didn’t begin reading about this extraordinary family until April, I believe, but they’ve had a profound impact on my life ever since. They stood rock solid in their unwavering belief in a loving and good God, when I myself was guilty of sobbing and crying out to God for them, “Why??? He’s only four, almost five, and suffering so much.” Looking into the eyes of my four, almost five-year-old energetic, full of life boy brought the reality of their situation too close to home.
As God always does for His children, He leads us back to the truth, using as many opportunities necessary until we “get it.” Both of the above books plus the sermon series we just finished up at my church reminded me of the Truth. God’s original plan for His children didn’t involve pain, sickness, death, or anything evil. Genesis 1: 26-31 describes that when God created the Garden of Eden, it was for humankind to enjoy. He didn’t have to create brilliant colors, the huge variety of fruits and vegetables and animals or the different landscapes. No, He created all that for our pleasure. God is all about love.
However, it didn’t take long for humans to mess up perfection. With the creation of free will, Eve chose to sin, dragged Adam down with her (however, he had free will to resist or not), and then they both decided to blame God and Satan for their wrong choices. Even though they messed up and chose sin, God still showed them grace with His consequences. Even God giving them morality was a gift of grace – allowing their time of suffering here on Earth to end in exchange for life in Heaven with God, but only after they confessed and reestablished that God was the only way to live in Heaven forever.
You may be asking…what does all this have to do with God allowing bad things to happen to good people…especially to little kids? Come back next time and I’ll explain what I mean.
© Cheri Swalwell 2014