I’m sure we’ve all probably heard or asked this question before:
“Why would a loving God let bad things happen to us?”
To dig through the surface of such a mystery, we need to look more closely at God Himself. All over the Bible, God reveals Himself behind the foundations of the earth. Not only is God loving, but He is a Mighty God who is bigger than the loudest storm, the greatest earthquake, and our doubts that trickle through the cracks inside us. What we call a problem, He calls a slight worm that can be smashed in His hand. What we call a tragedy, He calls a raindrop that can be overcome by His ocean of grace.
No matter our situation, God loves us, so He waits upon us till we wait upon Him.
He waits for us to accept His power–the glorious news that His Son Jesus came to carry our burdens, to endure God’s wrath for us, to set our turbulent hearts secure in an unfathomable peace. The Lord Jesus came down to earth to offer us peace in the midst of chaos, to understand the depth of God’s love, holiness, and eternal joy in the midst of fear and confusion and despair.
We can experience Him even if our own circumstances don’t reflect His goodness.
Imagine that! In the midst of calamity and strife, we can experience the God who is bigger than our doubts and fears–even bigger than our far-fetched dreams. He is bigger than shootings across the United States, terrorists in the Middle East, and is even more powerful than the nuclear bombs scattered across the world. He laughs at such mechanisms as a parent would laugh at a silly toddler who thinks he can stay up as late as he wants. He laughs because He knows He’s going to win in the end, no matter what little tricks the devil manifests through rebellious people.
We have nothing to fear when horrible situations come our way, because we have a God of strength and peace, who lives in us and desires a relationship with us. He cheers us on even when we feel overwhelmed by our circumstances.
In fact, hardships grow us up and bond us tighter to God.
Ironic as it may seem, I have now and then prayed for hardships, because I want God to refine me through them. I want Him to test me and see that my faith is real.
So why would a loving God let bad things happen to us? Well, even if we don’t feel all that great while it’s happening, in the end, we will rise out of the storm as a better person. And that, to me, is worth far more than combing my hair in the sunshine my entire life without a challenge.
“Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father?” Hebrews 12:7 (NIV)