The Lord says: “Let not the wise man bask in his wisdom, nor the mighty man in his might, nor the rich man in his riches. Let them boast in this alone: That they truly know me, and understand that I am the Lord of justice and of righteousness whose love is steadfast; and that I love to be this way.” Jeremiah 9:23-24, Living Bible.
Do the old questions never really go away? Almost every time I talk with someone who has had something happen which he didn't like, I am asked, "How could a loving God do this?" Or, "I can't understand why God didn't step in and do something. After all, if He is as powerful as He is supposed to be, why didn't He stop this from happening?"
The death of a child, the illness of a wife or a husband, a car wreck where someone you love is badly injured, or the crash of the market which leaves you destitute--God gets blamed for them all! "Where was He when I needed Him?"
As I met an acquaintance for lunch, I asked, "Do you have a family?" "No,” he said somewhat apologetically. "We have been married for fourteen years and haven't had children. Maybe God knew we wouldn't be very good parents and that's why He hasn't given us kids."
In other words, "We're not good enough to qualify as parents so God withheld kids from us!" Some envision God as being too old or too weak to step to the plate when we desperately need Him to pinch-hit for us. Others--possibly including the friend I just mentioned--consider Him to the great judge of the universe who keeps records of our good and not-so-good deeds and renders justice and judgments quickly and thoroughly!
Most of our misconceptions are the result of not really knowing and understanding God, so when things happen which you think shouldn't happen, you either blame Him for what He isn't responsible for or else blame yourself because you reason that you are not good enough to get God's attention and thus, convince Him to deliver what you need in a hurry.
When Saul had his Damascus road encounter with Jesus Christ, his question was, "Who are you?" Interestingly enough when Moses confronted Pharaoh and told him God said, "Let my people go…" his response was, "I do not know the LORD and I will not let Israel go" (Exodus 5:2).
When you are confronted with difficulties, instead of turning on God, turn to Him and get to know Him. This is the first step. Understand that God doesn't arbitrarily say, "That guy down there, the one who just got out of line, go down there and really get him!"
Some things happen because we live in a broken, imperfect and--yes!-- sinful world. Sometimes things happen because of our human failure. We reap what we sow--the cause and effect relationships of life; but there are other things which happen, and even if God should tell you the reason, explaining in great detail why something happened, you still wouldn't understand.
How much better it is to learn that He is compassionate and caring. As a father who sympathizes with his child, God knows and understands and cares infinitely more than you have any idea.
At some point in life, you cross a line--an invisible mark in your spiritual walk--whereby you say, "I will serve Him because He is God whether I understand or not, and leave to His disposition what is beyond my comprehension.”
When you fully understand that God is a good God, you will be able to find strength and help in times of trouble. Then instead of thinking He is the cause of your problem, you learn He is the solution to your pain and suffering.
An old English hymn by Ian MacPherson goes, "If I but knew Thee as Thou art, O loveliness unknown, with what desire, O Lord, my heart would claim Thee for its own." It's still true--if I but knew You as You are, O Lord, how many questions which trouble me now would no longer matter!
Resource reading: Mark 5:21-43