Why Do Bad Things Happen?

Jurgen Moltmann spoke at Seattle University a few weeks ago about his 35 year old book called “The Crucified God”. One of the most moving moments was when Jurgen was asked whether God, as the author of all things, also is the author of suffering? His heartfelt answer, after all these years of reading, writing and praying, was “I don’t know. That is a question we must live with.”

Indeed, theologians, religious, chaplains and others have wrestled for millennia with the question, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” or, “Why did the one I love have to die?” No-one has come up with an answer that musters much consensus.

Moltmann says that the “why?” questions are the wrong ones – they can’t be answered. The better question is “Where is God when people suffer?”

And we do know the answer to that one. God says, over and over again in the Bible, “I am with you.”

Psalm 139:

Where can I go from your spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there; if I make my bed in [hell], you are there. If I take the wings of the morning and settle at the farthest limits of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me fast. If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light around me become night,” even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light to you.

Query for prayerful consideration:

In my times of trouble, where has God been?

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