Why Bad Things Happen…

One of the most common questions I get asked- and maybe one of the most common questions asked in the world – is… “Why do bad things happen…especially to people we might consider good?”  

I once served as a substitute teacher in a local private school that served as a treatment center for children who had been abused or abandoned by their parents.  Some of these kids had been beaten so severely by their parents that they had suffered mental retardation as a result.  For one of our activities in class, I had the students answer a series of questions on a piece of paper; one of the questions was, “If you could ask God any question in the world, what would it be?” I was broken by some of their responses….

“Why did my daddy have to kill my mommy and sister?”

“Why did my uncle molest me and my cousins?”

“Where were You when I was abandoned by my mother?”

Up until then I thought the worst thing that ever happened in life was my parents divorce.  I suddenly saw life through a different lens.  But I realized that what these kids were asking- all had to do with the sovereignty of God and His control and purpose over those tragic events.  In other words, Were You there and why did You let this happen?

Have you ever asked tough questions like that? Have you ever wondered why there is so much evil in the world and why it sometimes seems like God just sits idly by while the world comes crashing in on seemingly good people?

Below is an interview that John Piper did on NPR shortly after the Tsunami hit back in December of 2004.  This is one of the best responses I’ve heard concerning the sovereignty of God and why bad things happen to innocent people… I hope it ministers to you as much as it did me…


~ by Shea Sumlin on February 5, 2007.

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