Why do bad things happen? Why does God allow tragedy? Why doesn’t God stop disasters? Why doesn’t Jesus heal everybody? We have our “WHY GOD” questions and sadly some have them more often than others.
Recently while visiting the hospitality center (a place where our pre operation and post operation patients stay) I wondered what “Why God?” questions they would ask.
God why would you let me suffer for 17 years with a facial tumor that made it harder and harder for me to breath everyday?
God why would you let me fall into a fire when I was 3 and be left with permanent disfiguring scars?
God why would you let my newborn baby, have a hole in the roof of her mouth, making it almost impossible for her to eat?
God why would you let me give birth to 4 babies in which all four died and instead leave me with a fistula that makes me constantly leak urine?
God why would you let my baby be born blind unable to see me or grow up independently?
I tried to put myself in their flip flops but couldn't fathom what it would be like to have a 10 lb tumor hanging off the side of my face when in reality I freak out when I get 10 pimples. Instead I had to rely on the different experiences that I had personally gone through.
My big “WHY GOD” question was after my brother Billy died when he was 16. Billy and I were on our way to school when he lost control of his car and died. It was a really hard time for me, my family, and for anyone that knew Billy or our family. I blamed myself for a long time for Billy’s death. I remember pleading with God night after night that he would bring Billy back and take me instead. I remember crying wishing I could do that morning over again and change one thing, anything, that would have altered the tragedy that unfolded that day. I wanted the hurt to go away, I wanted the suffering to end, and I wanted things to go back to the way they were. When God didn’t answer my prayers or make the pain go away, I instead blamed Him. I was blinded by a thick blanket of grief. I thought I would never get out of that feeling. Now as I look back on this hard time I rejoice seeing how God truly used it and continues to use it for good.
What suffering have you gone through or are going through?
God why do you let a parent suffer through cancer only to leave behind young children, to be raised by a grieving parent?
God why do you let children get incurable cancers?
God why do you let a loving dad, have a heart attack leaving behind 3 teenage girls?
God why do you let children be born with chromosomal or genetic disorders?
Going through this tragedy, and all the suffering that came with it, God showed me his unconditional love and compassion for each one of us. This suffering produced an endurance to push me through all the hard times. This endurance helped build my character of an unshakable faith. And this character produces joyful and confident hope of eternal salvation. Such hope never disappoints or shames us, for God's love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. (Romans 5:3-5)
I will never know what it is like to have a tumor on the side of my face. I will never know what it is like to leak urine for 10 years while grieving over the death of 4 out of 4 of mychildren. Yet even though I don’t know these situations specifically I do know what it is like to suffer.
Looking around at the patients and caregivers at the hospitality center each one has a "Why God?" question and a story of suffering. But I know that just as God used my suffering for good he will do the same for them because he loves and cares for each one.
John chapter 9 it talks about Jesus healing a blind man. Jesus was walking through a village and he saw a blind guy sitting on the side of the road. One of his disciples asked him, “Rabbi who sinned this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.”…. Jesus then makes a mud and spit combo, then anoints the man's eyes with the mix, and then tells him to go and wash it off. So off he went and washed and came back seeing.
I am blessed by the lessons that God has taught me through Billy’s death but also the lessons he continues to teach me. Watching these patients go through these trials not just physically but emotionally and spiritually as well. Instead of me looking at them and asking WHY GOD I instead look at them with excitement wondering how God will be glorified through whatever suffering they are going through.
“That the works of God might be displayed in him… “ God uses these trials and tragedies so that his works can be shown through them. God is not a merciless God. He weeps with us, he sees every tear that falls. God knows our future and he allows us to go through sufferings because he knows our faith will grow. He also knows that this world is not all there is and that our hope is based on something much greater.
"So off he went and washed and came back seeing" The blind man had to go over and wash his eyes; he had to take action. After Billy died and for many years after, I was sitting on the side of the road, with mud over my eyes, unwilling to stand up and wash my eyes clean. I pray that whatever suffering you are going through or have gone through that you are holding on to the truth that Jesus loves you. If you are still in the thick blanket of grief, I pray that you will wash off the mud and see.
Later in John as the this newly seeing man was being questioned by those in authority about who gave him sight, the man simply answered, “Whether Jesus was a sinner I do not know. One thing I do know that once I was blind and now I see.” God will use these sufferings so that His good, loving, kind, merciful, gracious, and compassionate works, can be displayed.
A matter of belief
4 years ago