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Friday, February 6, 2015

Yeah, Though I Walk - Questions

These first four deaths (My Uncle, My Pastor's Son, My Missionary Cousin, and My Little Cousin) occurred before I was 20 years old and impacted my life profoundly. They taught me lessons about the shortness of life, the suddenness of death, and about keeping short accounts and telling people I love and value them.

These first four deaths also raised questions about the character of God. I have consistently had a firm belief in the existence of God. I see too much evidence in the natural world around me, in the intricacy of the human body and the laws of nature to doubt that He exists. I have, however, had many questions about the character of God.

My Uncle was a youth group leader and driving students to a youth group event when he sustained the injuries that would lead to his death. My Pastor’s Son was a good boy and his father was a Pastor – a man of God. My Missionary Cousin was going to tell people in Peru about how Jesus died to save them, but he was never able to go. My Little Cousin was the daughter and granddaughter of people who loved God and served Him faithfully. It seemed so unfair to me that God would allow these people to die. After all they were serving Him, didn’t that mean they should experience blessing and long life? It seemed so very unfair to me. I asked why. No, at times my heart screamed why.

Although I probably wouldn’t have had the courage to admit it to many or even to myself, I spent many years doubting that God was good. I questioned what kind of God would do this, what kind of God would kill people who were serving Him. What kind of God would allow people to suffer so?

I didn’t know that I was asking the age old question “Why do bad things happen to good people?” But, I was. And it was 16 years before I would find peace with this question. 

What insights into the question 
"Why do bad things happen to good people?" 
have you gleaned on your journey?


  1. Patty (Riley) BrakeFebruary 9, 2015 at 11:46 AM

    I guess one other way of looking at it is this: why should God show grace to any of us by letting us live when we our sin is so offensive to His Holiness? Also, was it really tragedy for them to be taken into the throne room and presence of a Holy and Loving God for all of eternity? The tragedy is really more about the rest of us that are left behind which doesn't make it any less a tragedy just a conundrum that we as finite human beings can't wrap our minds around. I DO remember questioning God when our cousin, Tim, died and also when a very dear young man that our whole family loved was taken very suddenly from this earth. I have learned that all I know is quite limited in comparison to God's infinite knowledge and one day it probably won't matter nearly as much when I set my eyes on Him, the one who knows it all and has a GOOD plan!! Thanks so much for sharing and for giving us an opportunity to think and share about this very important and difficult topic.

  2. Hi Patty,
    Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and entering into the conversation. You ask a valuable question when you say, "was it really tragedy for them to be taken into the throne room and presence of a Holy and Loving God for all of eternity?" And your answer is spot on - the tragedy is for us, not them.

    As a young woman in my 20s I wasn't there yet and getting there was a growing process that took time and pondering lots of questions and doubts over the years. Now, I absolutely agree that the tragedy is for us and that God's infinite knowledge, love, and GOOD plan are what we cling to when life doesn't make sense.

    As we process together, those who are still raw with loss and those who have had time to process and learn from their journey, I am thankful that each one brings something of value to the conversation. Thank you for sharing the wisdom, insight, and truth you have gained on your journey.