When natural disasters strike, like the recent devastation in Oklahoma, I’m always left struggling to understand how God can be both sovereign and good at the same time.
What I know about God from reading the Bible is that He is in control and everything that happens, both good and bad has been allowed by him. As Kerrie Roberts puts it in her song, No Matter What:
“Before a heartache can ever touch my life
It has to go through Your hands”.
Believing in a sovereign God means believing in a God that has it within His power to allow or not allow the bad things that happen.
I form the light and create darkness,
I bring prosperity and create disaster;
I, the Lord, do all these things.
What I also know about God, from the Bible and from personal experience, is that He is good. Always good. This is, after all, the same God who stepped out of heaven to endure crucifixion in order to redeem all of humanity and restore our broken relationship with Him.
1 Chronicles 16:34
Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.
I’ve thought about these seemingly conflicting characteristics of God over and over. I’ve prayed for wisdom. I’ve listened to dozens of sermons on this very subject, each one with a different conclusion. I’ve searched scripture looking for a verse to use as a pretty pink bow with which I can wrap up all the loose ends. Here’s the brilliant, insightful and highly spiritual answer I’ve finally come up with:
I don’t know.
I’ll likely never understand why the same God who loves us enough to literally die for us while we were still seeping in our sin, is also the God who allows heartbreak and pain into our lives.
But, more importantly, I’ve also learned that I don’t need to have this all figured out in order to follow Christ. There’s a lot about God that I don’t “get” because my mind doesn’t even have the capacity to understand those things yet. I’m learning to be content with the little nuggets of wisdom God does reveal to me according to His timing. And, when I don’t “get” Him, I’m given the opportunity to trust Him.
I guess that’s why we call this journey we’re on,“Faith”.