Many of my friends and I have recently gone through a tragic experience. As of last weekend, 3 of our 50-or-so high school classmates have died in car accidents. We only graduated 4 years ago.
I'm sure many of us have asked the question in at least one of these accidents, "Why should I believe in a God that would let my friend die?" IT'S UNFAIR! If God was actually good, then why would he allow this?
I think these are fair questions to ask. It doesn't seem right, especially in the moment. However, we know that just because someone has made us angry doesn't mean they don't exist. My wife has made me frustrated plenty of times, but I still know she's my wife.
Also, I'm pretty convinced God can handle us being mad at him. So, I wouldn't worry about feeling bad for asking these kinds of questions. He's been through it before.
There's the story of a man who was a pretty good guy. He was a good leader and had a lot of respect. However, he was steppin in on the king's turf, taking away his respect and reputation. Both of these men had their own personal armies and they were grappling for fame and reputation. The king was furious and wanted the other guy dead. He chased him everywhere, pursuing this man relentlessly until the day the king himself died in battle.
The young man who was being chased believed in God, but most of the time it felt like God wasn't there. He felt like God had abandoned him. We know this was on his mind because he wrote about it a lot. Here's something he said:
"My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
Why are you so far away when I groan for help?
Every day I call to you, my God, but you do not answer.
Every night you hear my voice, but I find no relief."
Seems pretty hopeless doesn't it? You may also recognize that first line as some of the last words of Jesus himself. Jesus was in fact quoting this young man when he said it.
Jesus himself felt like God had abandoned him! I don't think he was alone in that feeling.
But, what conclusion do these guys come to? The young man said in the very next line:
"Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel."
Jesus also said when he died, "Father, I entrust my spirit into your hands!"
There is even another story of a man who lost his 7 sons and 3 daughters in a series of tragic accidents. He himself was even suffering from a horrible disease. His wife told him to "curse God and die." His response was humbling though,
"Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?"
God gives us a lot of good, but sometimes we get something bad. Death doesn't feel good for those who are left behind, and it doesn't have to. But, should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad? Sometimes we're dealt a bad hand, but in life we should never fold.
So if you're in pain, you're not alone. Plenty are going through this with you. If you feel mad at God, that's understandable. Let's keep reminding ourselves, though, of the many good things that have come from his hand.
As always, if you have questions or thoughts to share, just comment here.