Why Do Bad Things Happen?
As part of our "Ask Pastor Dave" blog post series, a parishioner wrote in to ask...
"When very bad things happen, is it part of God's plan or is it because we have chosen not to follow God's plan or is it simply bad luck in life?"
Faithful answers to this question run the gamut. Some believe God controls everything (even up to who believes and who doesn't). Others believe God controls nothing, and the world is subject to the powers of chaos. I believe what the first three chapters of Genesis affirm: that there is a strong presence of evil in this world that draws us away from what God wants for us, and causes this world to be other than what God might want it to be.
My prayers more often are that God might provide hope and faith and strength, not that God might reverse the course of events that we are experiencing. At the same time, I do believe that God intervenes from time to time. But the Spirit blows where it will (St. John 3:8), and we are in no position to anticipate when that will or won’t happen, and rarely accurate when we try to decide when it has happened.
Believers need a strong dose of humility when we attempt to explain where God is and isn't at work. The truth is: unfaithful people often experience great success, and faithful people know both tragedy and disappointment. God is the one who holds us together through the chaos of this life, not the one who removes us from it.
Do you have a question for Pastor Dave? Reach out directly and ask. Your message will be kept confidential unless you give us permission to publish the correspondence here on the Saint Peter blog.