The question that I most dislike to hear is the question which no one has an answer to… “Why would a holy God, the God of love allow ___?” This question is often posed to Christians in the wake of disasters or other horrible incidents, such as the one which took place this past Friday, December 14, 2012, a terrible, heart wrenching day which will live long in the memories of men, women and children all across this country.
I dislike this question because if I’m to be very honest with you, I can’t answer it. Neither I, nor any other believer will ever be able to answer this question to anyone’s satisfaction, because the truth is that while Christians love God and we trust God, many things are a mystery to us, and will continue to remain a mystery until God chooses to reveal the mysteries to us. Many times, when well-meaning people take it upon themselves to try to answer this great and terrible question, “Why would a holy God, the God of love allow ___?” it leaves a bitter taste in their mouth, and it often turns the stomach of those who asked the question.
Often times, this question is thrown out as a gauntlet, an accusation by non-believers to Christians, not because the non-believer is genuinely seeking an answer, but because the non-believer already knows that nothing the Christian could ever say will explain the horror of what happened. When people ask me this question, I have to be honest and tell them, “I just don’t know.”
You see, my lack of knowledge in no way diminishes God, who Himself tells us, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9 NKJV)
Is there an answer to, “Why would a holy God, the God of love allow ___?” Absolutely, and I also truly believe that there was and is a reason why terrible things happen, but while I could try to explain my thoughts and opinions about this to you, they would not serve any purpose. For how can you find comfort in my words? How can anyone find purpose in my opinions?
The only One who could ever answer these questions is Almighty God, Himself, and understand, He doesn’t usually answer the “Why” questions. Even when Jesus hung on the cross and asked, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” there was silence from heaven, not because the Father didn’t care. For He certainly cares for His Son. Again, I don’t have an answer for why God does what He does, why He allows what He allows, or why He doesn’t always answer when we question Him.
I can only share with you what I do know to be true.The only thing that I do know for sure is that His plans and His ways are always good. I know that He loves each one of us with an everlasting love and that He has good plans for us, plans to prosper us and not to harm us. He wants to give us a hope and a future. And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them. (Romans 8:28 NLT)
I know that Christ is coming again soon, though many scoff at this. But you must not forget, dear friends, that a day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. The Lord isn’t really being slow about His promise to return, as some people think. No, He is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to perish, so He is giving more time for everyone to repent.
Therefore, I can tell you this with certainty:
- If you love God and if you are called according to His purpose for you, He will cause everything to work together for your good… This means that even the most dreadful occurrences will work for your good.
- Time on earth as we know it is nearing the end, but even though it’s been more than 2000 years since He ascended into heaven, and He still hasn’t returned, it is because He is being patient for your sake.
- Jesus does not want anyone to perish.
- Therefore, He has given more time, taken longer, held back His return in order to give more time for everyone to repent (turn away from sin and turn toward Him)
My friends, I don’t mind admitting to my ignorance about this, so please don’t be angry with me when I tell you, “I don’t know why,” because I don’t have all the answers, and to presume to answer that question would not bring comfort to anyone. Instead, please allow me to share this with you.
Though I don’t know why the precious lives of those beautiful little children and their teachers were killed on Friday, I do know that God loved them. I know that He was with each and every child, and adult on that dreadful day. I know that His heart was broken for the victims of that brutal slaughter, their parents, families and friends, and that His heart was also broken for the young man who took the lives of so many innocent victims, as well as his family and friends.
I also know that this brutality was never in His will, although He allowed it to happen. And again, I don’t know why, except that each one of us has been given a free will, to choose to walk in obedience to God, or to walk in obedience to the devil and our flesh. This young man chose not to walk in obedience to God, and thereby chose to steal the lives of many.
I also know that this young man’s suicide did not free him from being judged and sentenced by Almighty God, who hates sin, and who especially hates sin against children. I pray that the people of Newtown, CT, and the people of this nation will find rest and comfort in the arms of the Almighty.
I pray that the people of this nation will humble themselves and pray and see the face of God, and turn from our wicked ways. Then He will hear from heaven and He will heal our battered land.
In conclusion, please don’t ask me why, because I can’t answer what I myself don’t understand. Rather, let’s ask God, “What can we do to ensure that this never happens again?” And, “How can we comfort those who have lost so much in this tragedy?”
Cheryl A. Showers