Why Do Bad Things Happen And Why Does God Allow It?

Why Do Bad Things Happen And Why Does God Allow It?

Once again this nation has come under attack. But for me and many others it’s right on our back doorstep, this time it happened in Boston. The Boston Marathon is a special day for celebrating everything that is good about Boston, its a day where the city opens up its arms and welcomes runners from around the world. It’s a day where they are part of our community for a day.

Sadly what started out to be a beautiful day with excitement and anticipation of who would win the marathon, tragedy struck.

On Marathon Day, Patriots Day (April 15, 2013) — Boston would forever be changed by those who clearly have no respect for life. Two well-placed and well-timed bombs brought the excitement around the Marathon to a screeching halt sending many spectators to the hospital and brought the terrorists what they wanted — chaos, confusion and fear. As I am writing this, this event has left at least 3 dead and at least 144 injured.

Many of us are asking why?

Why do bad things happen and why does God allow it?

I wish I had a great response to this question, but I don’t. I cannot even begin to understand the “why” behind this tragedy. Beyond what I can find in Scripture; John 16:33 reminds us that “we will have suffering in this world.”

Trying to make sense of it all and trying to answer those questions myself I came upon this excerpt from ‘Waking the Dead’ by John Eldredge.

Until we come to terms with war as the context of our days, we will not understand life. We will misinterpret 90 percent of what is happening around us and to us. It will be very hard to believe that God’s intentions toward us are life abundant; it will be even harder not to feel that somehow we are just blowing it. Worse, we will begin to accept some really awful things about God. That four-year-old little girl being molested by her daddy- that is “God’s will “? That ugly divorce that tore your family apart-God wanted that to happen too? And that plane crash that took the lives of so many-that was ordained by God?

Most people get stuck at some point because God appears to have abandoned them. He is not coming through. Speaking about her life with a mixture of disappointment and cynicism, a young woman recently said to me, “God is rather silent right now.” Yes, it’s been awful. I don’t discount that for a moment. She is unloved; she is unemployed; she is under a lot. But her attitude strikes me as deeply naive, on the level of someone caught in a cross fire who asks, rather shocked and with a sense of betrayal, “God, why won’t you make them stop firing at me?” I’m sorry, but that’s not where we are right now. It’s not where we are in the Story. That day is coming, later, when the lion shall lie down with the lamb and we’ll beat swords into plowshares. For now, it’s bloody battle.

It sure explains a whole heckuva lot.

You won’t understand your life, you won’t see clearly what has happened to you or how to live forward from here, unless you see it as battle. A war against your heart.

We all wonder why we have to experience life’s hurts when there is a God who loves us. We cannot see all that God can see and maybe these things happen in our lives so we can have a better ending. Here is what I do know….God knows our struggles, He is with us, He loves us and the pain we are walking through can’t compare to the joy that’s coming.

Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid.

 -Fredrick Beuchner

Again, I don’t have all the answers and I pray for all the people whose lives have been forever changed in a single moment. For those of us who were not physically harmed, take a moment and embrace your kids, your spouse and thank God that they are safe.

“Heavenly Father, I pray for everyone whose lives will never be the same from this tragedy in Boston. Please wrap your arms around them, give them strength and walk with them through this tragedy. Please give them peace in the midst of this chaos. I thank you for the first responders who risked their lives to save others. Help our officials find who is responsible for this so that justice may be served. In Jesus name, Amen!”

There is a war against your heart. Do you want to push back the darkness? Pray! Pray for families! Pray for cities! Pray for countries! Pray for our leaders! Pray for hope! People…just pray!

Picture © 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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Tim Young

Author of Heartstone. I am a father, teacher and speaker on mission to help people live courageously from their hearts.

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  1. says

    The problem of pain in general is an issue I cannot claim to answer, but I think there IS an answer to much of the evil we encounter–it is people; it is us.

    I do not think God causes tragedy like that in Boston. People did it. As to the question, “How can God allow it?”, I think it is simply that God allows people to do as they will and this leads to consequences like the tragedy in Boston.

    To say that God should have prevented it means that God should control our actions so that we become puppets or prisoners. However, I believe, as you say, “God knows our struggles, He is with us, He loves us.” And the day will come when all things are made right.

  2. says

    Tim. I love your heart and honesty. We cannot blame God for the devastation. That is part of our brokenness. God tells us to weep with those who morn. The best we can do is hold tight and cling to him in hope and try to shine his light on the darkness around us. I finished your book and will have the review up soon. Love in Christ, Teena.

    • says

      Hey Teena, thank you for the kind words. “Cling to Him in hope”…love this! Glad to hear that you had a chance to read Heartstone and looking forward to hearing your feedback. Be blessed!!

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