Caskets shouldn’t come in size small. Life shouldn’t be able to end before it really begins. As our community mourns for a sweet little boy, questions surface and we find ourselves asking, “why?” Who is at the receiving end of this question? Well, God of course, the only one who has the power to allow or prevent such painful occurrences and therefore the only one adequate to provide an answer.
God tell us in Isaiah 55:8, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.” We are not able to understand the mind of God; he is infinite and has infinite knowledge. While we only see the small portion of time that we live in at the moment, God sees all of time at once. He knows what is best because he knows every possible scenario in each of our lives.
I understand some do not believe in God. Even though the design of the universe screams intelligent order and our inborn sense of right and wrong provides us with evidence (Romans 1:19,20). If there is not an ultimate standard of good then we are a people without hope. Then there is no reason for children dying and people suffering as they do. If that is the camp you fall in then pitch your tent and sleep in it yourself.
For those who have eyes to see truth and believe in an all-powerful and loving God, our perspective is remarkably different. We are told we do not have to “grieve as others do who have no hope.” (1 Thess. 4:13). But the question remains…why? Why is there so much pain in the world?
Well the simple answer is sin. Sin entered the world through Adam and Eve, creation’s first couple. They thumbed their noses at God and decided they wanted to be their own masters. They ate the fruit and the curse came down (Genesis 3) and we have been suffering for it ever since. Sin continuous to wreak havoc in human hearts today. We are a world that has thumbed our collective noses at God and have declared ourselves to be masters of our own hearts. So evil runs rampant on this earth and causes pain, suffering, and death. Sin is the easy answer to the “why?” question.
The hard answer is this: God allows hurt because he loves us. If we belong to God, he will use whatever he decides is necessary to make us more like his son, Jesus. To purify our hearts and cause us to be closer to him. Closer to God in Christlikeness is always the direction we need to be moving in. It is the best thing for us because it is there that we find truth, peace, joy and all things good.
We live to bring glory to God, that is our purpose for breathing. “For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever.” (Romans 11:36). Therefore, God has written our lives in such a way that he will be magnified through the events that take place in them. So even in pain, we can be fully confident that God is in control and has a purpose for the pain. Romans 8:28, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” This verse should bring great comfort for those that are his.
Now for those who do not believe (or if you are one of the many who are faking it), God may use painful times to draw you to him; he may allow you to be sent to your knees begging for a Savior. In that there is mercy, for if God really is God and our only hope, then the most loving thing he can do for us is to make us know him even at the cost of great pain. Then you can experience true comfort as one of his children.
Christians have hope like no one else can because we understand that life does not end here on earth. Sin came into the world through humans, but God, in order to display his great grace gave up his only son to save us from the death of sin. He allowed Jesus to die on a cross to pay for the sin we are not able to pay for. Through his sacrifice we are able to have a relationship with God and spend eternity with him after this life is over. In this there is great hope - Jesus did not stay dead, he destroyed death and lives forever. He made a way for us to do the same if only we have faith and believe. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23.
If anyone understands the pain of a son dying it is God. The only arms safer for a precious child than his mother’s are those of God himself. Though we mourn for a time here on earth, we trust a God who knows all things and has divine purpose in all he does. We look forward to a day when our tears are wiped away and the joy pours in as we spend our days in the perfect presence of our Savior.
“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” 1 Peter 5:10 and Romans 8:18