Blaming God When Bad Things Happen

I can’t even begin to fathom the grief and the horror the people living in Aurora, Colorado have experienced this past week. 

I only know people are hurting. People are devastated. People are angry. And my heart breaks for what they are enduring.

A woman named Marie was there, in theater nine. With her two teenage daughters. She heard the gunshots and the screaming and the terror. She covered her daughters and when the firing slowed, she took her family and ran for the exit.

The next day, she wrote a blog post entitled So You Still Think God is a Merciful God? 

Her answer: Yes. 

God is still merciful and good.

I resonated with this post, because I have loved ones in my life who struggle with this concept. Oh man, do they struggle.

Something bad or senseless happens and they want nothing to do with God.

And I can’t help but think….

How quick we all are to spit on the hand that’s offering to pull us out of the pit, as if that hand is the one that pushed us there. 

I’m not sure any of us realize what a horrifying, terrifying place this world would be if God removed His grace. 

He isn’t the enemy. 

God doesn’t dig these dark, desperate holes. He’s not the one pushing us in them.

The brokenness of this world, the brokenness inside every human heart – this is what makes the pit. These are what push us in.

And God sees His beloved creation desperately trying to claw their way out, incapable of escaping on their own. So in His infinite mercy, He reaches out His hand, in the form of Jesus Christ, and becomes the rescue we can’t be for ourselves.

Jesus doesn’t promise safety or health or prosperity in this world. Any Christian who tells you that hasn’t read the Bible. 

But He does promise hope and this is a hope that brokenness and evil and destruction cannot touch. 

One day, death and the powers of darkness will be defeated and all things will be made new.

Until then…

I pray for healing for those who are hurting.

I pray that God can take the senseless hate in the world and bring beauty from the pain.

I pray that God can use what the enemy intends for destruction to glorify and magnify His name.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.                    -Ephesians 3:20-21

Let’s Talk: Do you struggle with the concept of a loving God when bad things happen?

13 thoughts on “Blaming God When Bad Things Happen

  1. Thank you for another thoughtful, hope-inspiring post, Katie. God IS always good. It’s hard to see it sometimes from where we sit. Faith trusts in God’s goodness in the face of pain & tragedy. Love this post, thanks again.

  2. Katie Ganshert

    Thanks for popping in and sharing your thoughts, ladies!

  3. This was simply beautiful. I cannot fathom how people can believe that God had anything to do with the decisions of a mad man. Evil is the very absence of God. As humans, we’ve been given dominion of this Earth – and not just Christians, but all of us. That means that, for better or for worse, evil men also have dominion and are allowed to do unspeakable evil. But God. He was with those who believe and He will continue to be with those who seek Him and call on Him. He will be there to heal and to help. It’s hard to understand why bad things happen – but it’s easy to see the Heart of God when we look for it. My prayers are with those hurting.

  4. Ganise

    Beautiful, Katie.
    My heart truly breaks for Colorado even as God’s heart surely is breaking for them too.
    I would encourage anyone going through difficult times to cling to God, knowing that He never lies( Numbers 23:19) , no matter what.

    Bless you for this touching post.

    (And congrats on your book that sounds soo good.. hoping to read it!)

  5. Janice Boekhoff

    Beautiful, insightful post.

    I think some struggle with God’s sovereignty at times like this. Is He in control when awful things happen? The answer is yes. I don’t pretend to know why this had to happen and my heart grieves for those who have lost loved ones, but God is still there. He’s not turned away. He wasn’t absent in the chaos.

    I heard on the news that the gunman fired a 100 round automatic weapon, which jammed a short time after he started firing. Coincidence? The death toll could have been higher.

    As I pray for those hurt by this tragedy, I pray they will not turn away from Him. He is our rescue and our freedom, not our oppressor.May those in need cling to Him and find healing and hope.

  6. Beautiful words of hope! Praying God just draws them near and lets them know He’s a safe place. Always.

  7. Excellent post!! We forget it isn’t God who does these horrible things to us but he provides a way for us to grow from these times and turn them into good.

  8. Oh, Katie, I’m right there with you. Horrified. Sitting here wondering when the tragedies, the horrors of this world will ever end. Will they?

    I just think that people want to blame God because they can’t see why He would allow bad things to happen. But if they never did, would we even see our need for Him? Or would we keep going along in our lives, thinking we’re happy, but really being in bondage to sin?

    Until we see the true darkness, the light of God isn’t revealed.

    Or maybe, it’s when the world is dark that we actually pay attention to His light. It’s been there the whole time, but we ignore it until we need it.

    Praying for all of those affected and that God will bring beauty from the ashes. He’s good at that.

  9. There is a time and purpose for everything that happens under heaven.

    When I heard about what happened, I stopped and thought about my son who had attended the midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises here in Phoenix. I thought what if this tragedy had happened here?

    I don’t understand why God allows this evil to happen, but I do know He has a purpose for everything.

    Evil like this will either bring people closer to Him or push them away.

    But He is there among the chaos.

    Thanks for reminding us of this! We need to be reminded…

  10. Not only is HOPE where it’s at, sometimes HOPE is all we have and we cling to it tight. Having been in a similar place as some of those people (not having a loved one shot, but having him go Home all the same)I know I had to cling to the hope that I could come out the other side. I pray for those who don’t know God, or have that hope or faith. How much harder for them to travel this road of life, especially when others throw boulders in our path. Quilted blessings, Nita

  11. Hope–where it’s at.

    I have before. I might again. But He knows that and He loves me anyway, letting me sift through my feelings and maybe I’m going out on a limb, but I think He gets why our heads might go there in a screwed up world like ours.
    ~ Wendy

  12. So horribly sad. I remember on Friday thinking, “I have no words.” But your post is beautiful…and filled with hope.

  13. Lovely post, Katie. I’m praying for those in CO too. Breaks my heart.


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