the BLOG of stuart mcdonald

A Tragic Scene & Questions About God
June 11, 2009, 7:27 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

A friend emailed me the other day with a tragic story and a question about God. I wanted to share my response with you. Here’s what she wrote:

Today my friends woke up to a tragic scene. My best friend’s neighbors’ house was broken into this am and the husband was shot and killed. They have 3 small children, he was 31. I only met the husband a couple of times, but he and his wife were always nice and friendly. Why do these things happen to such good people? I hesitate to ask “Why would God allow that?” I just don’t understand how something so horrible could happen to someone that is living right in this world.


Here is my response:

That is absolutely tragic and I’m so sorry to hear about their loss! The family is definitely in my prayers.  I’m also humbled and appreciative that you would ask me a question like this. While there’s SO much I could say, I’ll try to keep it concise.

Why do bad things happen to good people? It I love to answer a question with a question, so I’ll do just that: Do bad people deserve to have bad things happen to them? What makes a person “bad vs “good”? Is someone bad because they’ve killed someone, but a “good” person is kind to everyone? We can’t look at the outward appearance to even the acts of others to completely determine whether a person is good or bad. The minute that I being to judge others in that way, I place myself above them and set myself up to be judged just as I have done to them.

The fact of life is this: Rain falls on the just and the unjust alike. We think it more tragic when things happen to “good” people, yet fail to realize “bad” people are people too. They have families and sibling and mothers and fathers who may be “good”. Their loved ones are probably just as devastated about what has happened to them as the families of the “good” people.

I wouldn’t hesitate to ask God anything. Especially the hard questions that start with why, how, what, when, or who. When I wrestle with God about those things, not only do I feel glad I “let Him have it” but I think He smiles at me. Asking those questions means I really want to understand His purpose and plans and have His mind.

Why God would allow something like that to happen is beyond me. And that’s where I want it. God is much bigger and His ways are so much higher than ours. Sometimes I’m glad I don’t see every trial and tribulation I’ll have to go through to get to where God has called me. If I knew now, instead of when I got there, I just may quit now before even attempting anything.

Think about this: You’re looking at a computer screen, but you’re only able to see a small 10×10 square of pixels. At first, it’s a few pretty colors you like, perhaps a faint image. What you saw wouldn’t make much sense, even though you’d be happy or content with it, right? Now say you saw that same 10×10 square change colors. Now it’s an ugly color, or something you didn’t like. You’d be more confused than at first right? Maybe you’d be frustrated and would try to figure out why the change was going on.

The good news is God is able to see the entire screen. He knows exactly why things are changing and tragedies are happening even when what we see doesn’t make much sense at all. That’s why He is God and we are not. Our finite brains can not possibly wrap around the wisdom, knowledge and understanding of a God whose hands are the width of the entire Universe.


1 Comment so far
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What a tragic story. Those are the tough questions. From what I read you did a great job replying to the question although I’ve found that most of the time, that’s something that has to be settled in the heart instead of the head.

I’ll be praying for your friend.

Comment by Brad Ruggles

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