It’s the universal cry of victims everywhere: Why do bad things happen to good people? If the perpetuating description of an all-seeing, all-knowing, loving God is factual, then why did He allow something horrible to happen to me? Is He punishing me? Does He care? Is He apathetic or just vindictive? Why me?
I’ve been there. I’ve been in a position to ask all of the questions above and struggled with accepting the answers. I’ve been in a place where heaven was silent and my soul settled into desolate waiting, straining for even a whisper of hope. Here’s the thing about waiting: you only do it when you have an expectation. While waiting, your emotions run amok. From hopeful anticipation, to impatience, to anger, to disappointment, to hurt and doubt that what you’re waiting for will ever arrive. Eventually, the questions evolve from whether or not God is apathetic or vindictive, but whether you’ll allow yourself to become that way.
It’s a choice. A crisis of faith. It’s a crossroads with two choices: to decide that we live in a universe full of random unfiltered occurrences, or to decide that everything happens for a reason and that there is purpose in every life changing event. If you choose the former, the questions stop. Life is random, uncontrolled and the chips will fall where they may. If you choose the latter, the questions change, and a lifetime is spent coming to terms with the answers. I chose the latter.
My question became SINCE the perpetuating description of an all-seeing, all-knowing, loving God is factual, then why did He allow something horrible to happen to me? I chose to come from a place of trust, believing that the God who loves me would have purpose for my pain. The victim’s cry of ‘why me’ turned into the victor’s cry of ‘why me’. The question is the same, but the intent is different. If I believe that all things work together for my good, then I begin to look for that good in every situation. Is it easy? Never. Is it worth it? Always. My faith does not make me exempt from the valleys of life. My faith gives those valleys purpose.
So in the end, the ultimate question is why NOT me? Why should I be the one human on earth free of any sort of suffering in my lifetime? I shifted my mentality and accepted that if God is in control, then He allows both the good and the bad. I can’t thank Him for one and resent Him for the other. I chose to believe, and when I did I realized that heaven had never been silent and that in all my waiting, I failed to quiet my accusations and demands long enough to hear. The truth of His love was there all the time.
Do I have all the answers? No, and I doubt I ever will. What I do have is a firm grip on a faith that is not reliant on expectant outcomes. I don’t have all the answers, but I’ve learned to ask the right questions. And I think that’s a good start.
Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1 KJV
Have you ever had a crisis of faith? How did you get through it? What did you take away from the experience?