Trusting God in times of sorrow

Published 5:50 am Sunday, December 17, 2017

One area of the vast unknown that has been the focus of speculation throughout the ages is why certain events happen that seem to be cruel and unfair. As a Christian minister and counselor, I am consistently either thinking, writing or being asked why tragedies happen when there is a God who can easily prevent them. How many times has someone said, “If He is loving and all powerful, then why does He allow terrible things to happen?” Even though the Christian worldview does not have answers to specific situations but there are general reasons why some things happen. Matthew 5:45 reveals that nature does not discriminate between good and bad or the atheist and the believer. Suffering can come to anyone and anytime without moral cause.

My son and his wife are dog lovers and last year they chose to put two of their dogs down because of advanced cancer and of course they were very upset. About 6 months ago they purchased an adorable puppy and she was such a loving and strikingly beautiful dog. This past week, they let her out in the backyard like usual and about a half-hour later called for her to come in. They started searching and thought that maybe she had escaped. You can imagine the horror when he stepped up onto the deck of their pool and saw her resting on the bottom. He dove in and retrieved her but it was too late. The gates on the deck were locked and security cameras revealed that she had made an incredible leap into the pool from the yard. We’ve all made terrible judgments and this mistake became a tragic accident. They are devastated and in this time of being heart-broken again, it was mentioned about why God did not stop this from happening. What can we say? Without being disrespectful, there are many times in our journey when the sovereignty of the Almighty seems to not make sense.

There are events and situations when miracles happen and we are convinced that God stepped into the situation. Then there are other times when crazy things occur that could have easily been prevented. We know that God is watching and is all powerful but occasionally He decides to not intervene. Why? It’s all a part of His perfect will. These are the times when faith becomes more than a religious platitude, and for us to maintain a healthy spiritual attitude we are called to submit as Jesus prayed, “not my will, but thine be done.” Another reason why bad things happen is associated with free-will and we can agree the most dangerous gift that God ever gave was our ability to choose. Like the puppy who made a bad decision to jump in the pool, a large part of suffering can be and often is self-inflicted. Reaping and sowing is associated with conditions and consequences and somewhere in the mix, we do the best we can and trust Him in everything. Sadness and sorrow is a part of our earthly existence but it’s encouraging to know that heaven has been promised to be an eternity of perfect peace and joy.

Email newsletter signup

Dr. Holland lives in Central Kentucky with his wife Cheryl, where he is a Christian author and community outreach chaplain.