Why Does God Let People Get Hurt?

My carpool week was turning out to be more than just giving a hand to an overwhelmed mom. It was becoming a Bible class on the road!

As I pulled into the driveway, my young friend charged out the front door ready for his day. I prayed for God’s wisdom and direction. I’d promised the boy an answer to a tough question.

“Hi Nannygranne!”  he called.

“Hello, fine sir!” I answered.

“Did God tell you the answer?” You have to love kids. They hold us accountable!

“Well, I listened to Him in His word and I prayed for wisdom. I also listened to other Christians who had thought about this question, too. So, I do have some things I can tell you.”

“Good!” he said. “I want to tell Derrick when I get to school.”

“Was Derrick wondering about why bad things happen to people, too?”

“Yes.  Derrick’s uncle is a police officer, and a bad guy shot him. He didn’t die, but Derrick had prayed for his uncle to be safe and God didn’t protect his uncle.”

“Why do you think the bad guy shot Derrick’s uncle?” I began

“Because he likes to do bad things,”

“Good answer.  So, the bad guy made a bad choice, right?”

His head swiveled my direction, and his blue eyes squinted. “Yeah, but why didn’t God stop him.  Derrick asked him to.”

“Well, if God stopped everyone from making bad choices, would that be fair?”

At the shrug of his shoulders, I saw that we were wading in too deeply for a 7-year-old’s mind.  I needed to toss him a life preserver, so I continued, “If God forced us all to only do those things He wants us to do, would that be fair?”

Still squinting, he ventured a guess, “No?”

“Would you want to be somebody’s robot and not be able to choose how you acted?”

Now he was beginning to understand. “Being a robot would be fun…but not all the time,” he admitted.

“If God lets you and me choose, then everyone else gets to choose, too. And there are always people who choose the wrong. And besides, maybe God did protect Derrick’s uncle since he was only hurt and not killed.”

“What if he’d been killed?” For a 7-year-old, his mind was uncannily quick.

“Then if he were God’s child, God would take him to His place and take care of him until Derrick got to go to God’s place, too.   His uncle’s Self would go to a different place.  He wouldn’t be gone. His Self would still be alive.  Only his body is buried for a while.  When Jesus comes back, He’ll make everybody’s body alive again, just like He came alive again.”

At that, he frowned and turned to look straight ahead.  There was more.  I thought I knew what that might be.

“And the bad guy would go to jail, and if he never stopped making bad choices, God would put him far away so he could never hurt anyone again.”

My young friend then offered me a smile of resignation.

“When bad things happen to anyone,” I said, “it makes God angry, too, and He knows it’s not fair. God hates bullying, drugs, terrorism, fighting, stealing and cheating. He hates those things because they hurt people.  And guess what!”

“What?!” he encouraged.

“The Bible says God made you in His image.  He made you like Him in some ways. That’s why you feel the same way God does about bad things. And you want it fixed, too, right?”

“I wish God would fix all that bad stuff!” he slammed his fist into his seat.

“Guess what else?”  I encouraged. “God will make everything right when Jesus comes again. So, don’t worry. God is going to make everything fair then.”

Now his head bobbed up and down thoughtfully. We’d arrived at the school.  He and Derrick would have a lot to talk about today.

He opened the door and started to get out, then stopped and turned back to me.

“What about that tornado?  Why did God let that happen?”

“You go ahead and go on in. We’ll talk more after school, OK? We’re going to need ice cream after school today.”

(To be continued)

Author:

I am a mother, grandmother, nanny, and writer—with a passionate concern about children, all children. With the help of my son Travis (who has a graduate degree in apologetics) I hope to share some thoughts that will be helpful to all who have the same concern.

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