At any moment, I can put on my Television or go on my phone and see the news of tragedies taking place within or outside of our country. My heart grieves over the catastrophic journeys parents have walked. I’m constantly prayerful and I’ve shed many tears over the sorrow these mothers and fathers have endured. No one deserves the heartache of watching their child suffer or experience a tragedy. In times of sorrow, I’ve often heard the question of “Why do bad things happen?” or “Where is God when bad things occur?”
I believe with both of these questions we can find some direction from the Bible. It was while I was composing my first blog post on How to Conquer Parenting Fears Part I (if you haven’t read my Part I and would like to, click here), I realized these questions come up and they need to be addressed. If you’d like to empower yourself with 5 tools to help you conquer fear, I encourage you to read my first blog. I know it will bless you. In this blog post, I want to answer those questions that enter our minds in the midst of tragedies. I hope to empower parents so they can raise their children without fear.
Why do bad things happen?
It all begins in the Garden of Eden. Many of us are familiar with the story of Adam and Eve. However, not too many understand the significance of it. To put it simply, God, the Ruler of the Universe, gave Adam (the first man) authority, power and dominion over the Earth in Gen 1:26-28. Yet, when Adam committed treason against God (by eating the forbidden fruit), Adam gave up his authority to Satan. This is why in Eph 2:2, it references Satan as the “prince of the air” and in 2 Corinthians 4:4, he is spoken of as the “god of this world”. According to scripture, Satan does rule this Earth, with some limitations (for those in Christ, he has as much power as we permit) but his whole mission is to get back at God. What better way to get back at a parent, then by hurting the children he/she loves. Satan consistently seeks after ignorant, unprotected, uncovered individuals to steal, kill or destroy (John 10:10). He is the one who creates the bad things that happen.
Where is God when bad things occur?
God is present when bad things happen. He’s completely aware and He’s broken like any parent would be after witnessing their child in pain or turmoil. Since He is present and aware, why doesn’t God intervene?
Unfortunately, many are left in the dark concerning these questions and they often blame God for their circumstance, which only empowers Satan. Deception is one of his most powerful tools. If we’re caught up into blaming God, we are unlikely to reach out to the one person who can save us. It is He who gives life in abundance, he does not take it (John 10:10).
Without a doubt God wants to intervene! Many times the reason He doesn’t is because He is not permitted to step in. Many don’t realize God is bound by His Word. For example, He said he’d never flood the Earth again in Genesis, so even if He wanted to flood the Earth he wouldn’t! Why? Because He’s faithful, true to his word, and honest. So God never forces His will, purpose or desire on anyone. It’s all a matter of choice. Yet, the principle is if we don’t follow His will, we deny his protection. God cannot force his protection on us just like he cannot force His will. It breaks His heart that He is not always asked to come to our rescue! Scripture tells us we don’t have what we need because we don’t ask for it.
During My Parents’ Date Nights
I’m four years old and my mom walks into my room. My brother is on the floor playing with his toys and I’m on our bunk-bed attempting to recreate a feeling I experienced before with my Uncle. My mom questioned my actions and in fear I confessed that my Uncle had been molesting me. I find out later he was also molesting my brother. Like a wrecking ball it destructively began to tear apart my family. While my parents went on their date nights partying, thinking we were in good hands, their children were being ripped of their innocence.
Why did this horrible thing happen? Why does it happen to hundreds of innocent children? For my family, I can honestly say we didn’t know much about God’s word, protection or even about Satan at that moment. It’s a wonderful thing that my parents saw the importance of having their date nights. Unfortunately they were unaware of the prowling opportunist, Satan, looking to destroy our family. We may have loved God but we didn’t know how to disarm the enemy, how to ask God for His protection or how important it is to put God first. Satan was definitely taking advantage of our ignorance. Thankfully over the years God has restored, healed and mended. No matter the circumstance, it’s never too late or too hard for God to intervene if we ask him to.
Sometimes there are things that happen in this world we feel we cannot explain why they occurred; still we must continue to keep our trust in God.
A Trip to the ER
My son, Matteo was 2 1/2 year’s young and he was eager to wave good-bye to his Daddy from his bedroom window. Matteo routinely ran to his bedroom window to bid his Daddy off to work because his window overlooks the driveway. This particular morning, I open the window for my son, so my husband can hear our son’s farewells. Immediately after lifting the window, it fell cutting 90% the tip of my son’s middle finger.
Like many of you, the question crossed my mind, “Why did this happen?” I may not fully understand why my son had to experience such a painful event, but what has transpired since then is incredible. I literally saw my son worship without tears on the way to the Emergency Room. Was he in pain? Absolutely! Yet, at 2 years he already learned in heartache to turn to God for comfort. At one moment I began to cry and he said, “No Mom. You can’t cry!” It wasn’t because we teach him to be tough (I don’t think those words have ever left my mouth) but because he needed me to worship with him. We sang songs like “How Great is Our God” by Chris Tomlin as my husband drove as fast as he could to the Hospital. Furthermore, Matteo’s behavior baffled all of the ER Kaiser staff at South Sacramento. They never experienced a surgery with a toddler in such peace. They tried preparing me before the surgery about how my son was going to be hysterical and how they have to strap him down so he wouldn’t move. The staff assured me through it all they wouldn’t be hurting him regardless of how loud he’d scream. The entire time I kept thinking, you don’t know my son. I simply explained the procedure to Matteo and we invited the presence of God in the room. Within moments of the surgery, Matteo had the room laughing with his commentary. God’s peace was in the room.
The beauty of the Word of God is it has an answer for everything! Scripture tells us in Deut 29:29, “The secret things belong to the LORD our God…” I have to understand there’s a time when God can share with me why it happened and other times I need to trust He’s going to work it all out (Rom 8:28). For instance, I may not be able to explain to my son why he will never meet his Uncle Gilbert on Earth, because he is too young to fully grasp the concept of death, passing on, or going to Heaven. There will be a time, when he is older and I can explain it to him. When bad things happen and we’re looking for an explanation that seems like it’s no where to be found, trust God. Your explanation is coming! It just may require a bit more maturity before you hear it so you can fully understand it.
The Bible says in Luke 8:17, “For all that is secret will eventually be brought into the open, and everything that is concealed will be brought to light and made known to all.” Furthermore, Luke 12:2 says, “The time is coming when everything that is covered up will be revealed, and all that is secret will be made known to all.” One day we will know why but in the meantime we hold onto our confidence in God. He knows what’s best. God will never withhold anything good from us (Ps 84:11). I like to keep in mind the things I’ve learned through my trials. With my son, I’ve come to know it’s never too early to teach my babies to worship or to trust in God. Secondly, I learned in this cold world I need to arm them against the weapons of the enemy because he doesn’t play fair. He’d kill every child if he could.
I’m hoping I shined some light on those that have wrestled with these questions. As we seek God, I believe He gives greater understanding and I know if you draw closer to Him, you’ll find your answers. In both of my blog posts of How to Conquer Parenting Fears, I share some of my most intimate trials because I want others to learn from them. I don’t want other parents to leave their children vulnerable to the traps of the enemy, nor do I want others to walk in fear of disaster coming around every corner. We need to cover our children in prayer, shut all open doors to the enemy by eliminating compromise in our lives, and trust in God. A scripture I used to drill in my students as a former teacher is Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” If we trust God’s promise, we know God has beautiful future planned for each of our children, better than anything we could create. Invite Him into your children’s lives.
If you want to ask God to help you parent your children and not be in fear of their future, say this prayer out loud:
“God, I thank you for your love for me and my children. Thank you for blessing me with the privilege of parenting. I know that you want to keep and protect my family from turmoil and disaster. I ask you now, to be the Lord over our home, our soul, and our hearts. Be our Savior and save us from danger seen and unseen. Protect our home, our children, our marriage and our finances. I look to you to restore, heal and mend any brokenness in my family from tragedies that have already occurred. There’s nothing too hard for you God. Help me God to seek you in all matters of my life. I invite you to lead our lives. Lastly, I put an end to Satan’s destructive work in our home. I denounce fear! I declare No WEAPON formed against my family or I will succeed according to Isaiah 54:17. I declare James 4:7, I submit our lives to God, I resist every evil and it has to flee! The Devil no longer has any foothold in my life or my children’s in Jesus Name! I close every door now! Lastly, I plead the blood of Jesus to cover my home, children, marriage and finances in Jesus’ Mighty Name. Thank you God we are protected by you and we trust our lives in your hands. In Jesus’ name, Amen!”
It’s your turn! Please take the time to comment below if this blog has blessed you or if you prayed the prayer. I’d love to hear from you.