Why? As a society we ask ourselves this question quite a bit. Why did that happen? Why is this happening? But probably the most often asked question, "why is this horrible thing happening to me?"
I imagine that this question is being asked with great frequency in the Boston area right now. Why did this happen? Why were these innocent people forced to suffer? The cruel answer to that question is we do not know. We do not know why the person that perpetrated these senseless acts of cruelty did it. We do not know why they felt it necessary to bring such horrific acts and suffering to the people in and around the Boston Marathon. Those same questions apply to the tragedy in West Texas. We do not know why that fertilizer factory was in the condition it was, opening the door for that explosion that has altered so many lives.
As people of faith, so many may ask you, how could God allow this to happen? What part of God's will was fulfilled by God allowing this to happen? I have often had that question posed to me. People will call me and ask me how could God allow this to happen. Some of the answers I hear given to these questions are, "It was God's will and we just have to have faith God knows best" or "God will never give us more than we can handle". I have also heard, "God is trying to teach us something by causing this or creating that." I am sure all of you have heard these phrases in some form or another. I was taught these as a child growing up in church. God was in control, God was all powerful, God would not let anything happen unless it was part of his plan. I believed all of them. Then my grandmother died. In trying to help me process her death, someone said to me, with the greatest and purest of intentions, God must have needed another angel in heaven. My immediate thought was how could God need my grandmommy more than me. How could God willingly take her from me. I was not angry at the person, nor was I angry with God. It was just that statement made no sense to me. God was love, God was not death. That helped open the door for me to shift blame away from God for all of the bad things that happen in this world.
Folks, we will all endure terrible things in this life. We will all endure unfair actions that deeply hurt and wound us. Please understand, God did not cause this. God does not give us cancer, disease, or end our lives at God's decision. This life was never promised to be fair. This life was never promised to be just. But what God does promise, is that when we are going through those terrible situations, God will go with us. When our heart breaks, so does God's. When we cry, so does God. God never wants bad or horrific events to happen to any member of God's creation. God is so powerful and full of wisdom, God will find better ways to teach us things, than create tragedy in our lives for the sole purpose of education.
God does not cause bad things, God redeems them. Somehow, some way, God will bring redemption into your life. God will find a way to take that horrific event, and bring some good out of it. God did not cause it, but God will redeem it. Let us be the agents of change to shift the blame for these events from God. Let us be the people that help others turn to God, rather than from God. Let us be the ones that lead people to the best source of help during difficult times, God Almighty. Let us be the ones that share what God truly is...love.
Have a great week!