Does God cause pain or use it or???

Wildfires, earthquakes, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes — did these natural disasters and their losses or close escapes come from God?36451078204185961_HMZmvGgi_b

There was another shooting, a mass murder, in the news this weekend. How does a loving God let things like that happen?

I talked with three people today whose family members committed suicide (not recently, but in every case it was still a painful, devastating, life-altering blow.)  I was reminded of a mom I knew, a warm, giving mom who welcomed her daughter’s friends from church camp into their home during the youth rally. I will never fully understand the depths of her depression, and how she first shot her daughter before she took her own life and left her husband to die of a broken heart.

I just received word that a dear friend has cancer of the kidneys, with a grim prognosis. Her younger sister with Alzheimer’s has been living with her, so now she is seeking wisdom for how to explain the outcome — institutional care at the point when she can no longer provide care — to the sister.

Last year I watched as my oldest friend fought breast cancer and is cancer free today — while her niece, still in her 20s,  lost the fight to overcome a very fast-growing, virulent strain of cancer.

We live in a broken world. The world is broken because of sin in it — in our own lives, sometime, and all around us.

I don’t believe that the horrific things that happen in our world are direct, individual punishment for individual sin. (Although sometimes things happen to us that are a direct result of our sin.) I am reminded of the disciples who asked Jesus, about a man born blind, who had sinned? Him or his parents? The answer was that all things are for God’s glory.

All things, not just the happy moments, but the sad ones, too. And through it all He is the one in control. He will comfort us through the storm. He will help us use the adversity that finds and floors us. He is our hope, our help, the one we turn to in life when we are forced — by our own decisions or things outside our control — to start over.

I wrote the Starting Over series because starting over is required of most of us at some point in the ups and downs that are life on this broken earth. I hope you will take time to read the stories — and then share your own with me, because there are more books ahead in the series.

Comment — what do you think? Why do bad things happen? A lucky commenter will be selected for a free download of Out of Agony, my July 21 release.

All books, electronic and paper, are listed on my Amazon author page.