Why Did God Allow That To Happen?
For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God's glory displayed in the face of Christ.
- 2 Cor 4:6
Some years ago, I had a church member make an appointment to see me in my office. During her visit, she struggled to keep her composure as she shared how she was struggling to deal with a traumatic event in her life.
At one point, she blurted out through her tears, "I don't know why God allowed this to happen to me!"
She quickly qualified her comment by affirming her belief that God was all-powerful and all-knowing and that she believed God was inherently good, but then she paused for a moment and whispered:
"But I still don't know why God allowed this to happen to me."
In the newly released book, God Can't, Thomas Jay Oord takes on the issues surrounding my church member's statement--issues centered on the idea of why (if God is good) God would allow terrible things to happen in the world.
According to Oord, God doesn't "allow" terrible things to happen in the world as if God was helpless to stop them or simply trying to teach us a lesson. But Oord does assert (and I tend to agree with him) that God "can't" intervene because of God's great love.
Love, according to Oord, is not something that can be coerced. So it stands to reason that God, who is the very essence of love, cannot deny God's own essence by asserting God's power to change the freedom of Creation---which also includes human freedom, of course.
I know... It's a lot to take in for a morning devo. But bear with me.
Oord goes on to say, that this same God--out of love--chooses to be with us during moments of trial and tragedy.
And this choice reveals even more about God's loving essence. Because of God's love for us, God longs for us to have abundant life and to live in hope and joy. Oord writes:
"God wills our well-being, not our woe-being."I love that. May you carry that phrase with you today and every day--even when you wonder what God might be up to. May you discover new hope and joy in the knowledge that God desires your flourishing and well-being... not your woe.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.