Explaining the Unexplainable

"Where was God in Connecticut today, Haley? If there truly is a God how could he let those poor little kids get slaughtered? Aren't they supposedly his innocent children? I love you Haley, but you are putting your faith in mere mythology. Stop wasting your time."

When I read these words on my phone Friday afternoon, my heart dropped. Frustration. Anger. Confusion. The questions began to swirl. How could God let this happen? A God who can't save innocent children must not be much of a God anyway. Either God doesn't exist, or he does exist but he's obviously not who he says he is.

To the families in Newtown, Connecticut, who lost their babies in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting this past Friday, here is my honest yet clearly imperfect attempt to explain the unexplainable events of this tragedy:

Explaining the Unexplainable
How could God let this happen? Let me tell you about the kind of God I believe in. I do not believe in a God that just "lets" things happen. But at the same time, I do not believe in a God that stops things from happening. We have free will, and our free will is God's ultimate sign of love for us.

Believe it or not, God loved Adam Lanza. To be honest, I'm disgusted at the fact that I just typed those words. When I think the name "Adam Lanza," I cringe. Yet what we must continue to remind ourselves is that we serve a God of LOVE. God's love knows no limits, no boundaries, no time. Because God loved Adam Lanza, God gave him free will. Why Lanza chose to use his free will to murder 27 innocent people, we may never know.

Yet what we do know is this: God did not plan for this tragedy to occur. When I was a little girl, I asked someone why my parents divorced. This person's response? "It was all in God's plan for your life." To be honest, I completely disagree with this statement. If you're going to try to tell me that at the beginning of Adam Lanza's life, God PLANNED for him to kill 27 innocent people, I'd probably tell you that you're crazy. How could God plan for a little boy to grow up to become a murderer? I do not believe God planned for innocent lives to be lost the morning of December 14th. When planes crash, cars collide, or humans kill, I do not believe these tragedies are acts of God, or "all in God's plan." Yet what IS in God's plan and what IS an act of God is the miracle of strength that is so often found despite these tragedies. God does not stop these things from happening, but what He teaches us through these horrible situations - now that's something too beautiful for words.

So to the families who lost their babies Friday morning: God didn't want this for your children's lives. He wanted your babies to live as long, as happy, and as healthy as possible. Tears come to my eyes when I think of the beautiful stories He had in mind for your children. But God is not the reason why those beautiful lives did not unfold. Do not blame Him.

You might still be wondering, Okay Haley, so God didn't plan for any of this to happen. But still, why didn't He STOP it all from happening? Why didn't He save them?

Take a minute and imagine if God stopped every evil deed on this planet from happening. Think about it...no death, no tears, no hatred, no jealousy, no evil. Sounds like Heaven, right? That right there is exactly the point. Heaven is meant for those things. Earth is a place full of evil, full of brokenness, full of temptation every step of the way. Yet in the face of that evil, in the face of that brokenness, and in the face of that temptation, we are encouraged to face Jesus. And oh the face of Jesus...nothing more beautiful. Nothing more sweet. Nothing more perfect. If God stopped every evil deed on this planet from happening, we'd already be in Heaven, and there would be no purpose to our lives. After all, God has put us in this world to test us, to see if we love Him enough to choose everything He has to offer over everything the world has to offer. If you're looking for a world where good things actually happen to good people, you're not going to find that here. Stop looking for it. Face Jesus in spite of the evil deeds that surround us, and realize that in time and in Heaven we will face a place of no death, no tears, no hatred, no jealousy, no evil. And oh what a beautiful sight that will be.

Revelation 21:4: "He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."

We will not find perfection on this planet because perfection exists only in the beauty of Heaven and in the beauty of the face of Jesus. In this lifetime, the closest we will ever come to Heaven on Earth and the closest we will ever come to perfection is in the arms of Jesus. When I am in His arms, there is nothing better. I know what it feels like to truly be ONE with Him, so to me, nothing/no one could ever possibly compare. Philippians 3:8: "I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord." All things are nothing in comparison to His love.

As always, comments/criticisms are welcome. Whether you agree with me or not, whether you think God planned this whole tragedy or not, know this:

The greatest love story ever told is that of God's love for each of us. He knew we would abuse His gift of free will, but He gave it to us anyway. Why? Because He has loved us with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3). God knows we are going to abuse His gift of free will; yet He does not PLAN for us to do so. There is a very stark difference between what God knows and what God plans. So when reflecting on the tragedy that occurred at Sandy Hook, don't blame God. I cannot explain why Adam Lanza did this. I cannot explain why these babies are no longer with us. But what I can say is this: this was not God's plan and this is not what God wanted for these people.

So in this time of tragedy (or any time of tragedy for that matter), stop wasting time asking questions. Stop wasting time wondering why. Learn to expect the evil of this world. Do not expect good to come from this world...because the only good that exists here is from God.

Since real freedom from the evil deeds of this world can only be attained through Christ, stop wasting your time elsewhere. Find freedom from your sufferings in Him.

Look to Him.
Run to Him.
Cling to Him.

The evildoings of this world are unexplainable. But you know what is even more unexplainable? The love, the freedom, and the pure rest we find in the arms of a Savior who is waiting to show us the closest thing to Heaven on Earth: a life with Him.

Look to Him. Run to Him. Cling to Him.

Comments

  1. I ready your blog every week. It inspires me to build my relationship with God just like you have. Keep your head up Haley. You are doing a wonderful thing.

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  2. Adam Lanza did not CHOOSE to murder those children. That's the thing. He had a psychotic episode, a mental breakdown. He suffered from an extreme mental illness. The Colombine shooters massacred fellow students because they were sick of being bullied. But Adam Lanza had no connection to those little angels. He was out of control. And that's God's fault. GOD created our brains. And the idea that we be put through suffering so that we can strive to escape it by BELIEVING in God and singing his praises, and praising him for forgiving us for every little mistake, to me, is a price too high to pay.

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    1. So people with down syndrome, or other mental illnesses aren't capable of making decisions? Maybe if you shove your head any farther up your ass you will be able to see the light when you open your mouth to talk. Aspergers is not a serious mental illness, many people with the illness are able live completely normal lives. He did have a connection to the school because his mother was an aid there, get your facts straight before you try to tear down someones reasoning of a horrible thing.

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    2. Thank you everyone for your comments. Whether positive or negative, I sincerely appreciate the feedback. I stand by what I said in my post: this tragedy was not God's fault. Yes, God created our brains, but He does NOT create the evil we do with the beautiful brains we are given. And God has a beautiful plan for each of our lives; it is our choice whether or not we want to follow Him and reap the benefits of His plan. God is NOT the cause or creator of evil. And the good in this world comes from God and God alone. "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows" (James 1:17).

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    3. have you thought that maybe a supernatural being created human beings with a quite remarkable brain capacity, without the explicit intent of good or evil being done? people tend to blame people for using their free will to act out of evil intent, put i never hear people being praised for using their free will to do good. instead, that praise automatically goes to god, as if he had anything to do with that good action being done... it seems as if free will is truly just a cop-out argument for when bad things do happen, to help people who believe that god always intends for "good" to be done. i think that a possible intermediary explanation here is that we were created- see, creation, implying a creator, so no this is not an atheist post- to use our brain power for whatever purpose that is determined by us alone.
      this explanation also takes the pressure off of the people who think that god is responsible for everything, as it allows for the possibility that our creator really does not care either which way about what happens. therefore, then when bad things happen because of a human beings evil intent, no, that humans creator is not to blame. the parallel must also be considered: when good things happen because of a human beings benevolent intent, that human's creator is not to blame (credit).

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  3. In response to the difference between "what He sees and what's in His plan": I agree. God works with what humanity gives Him, He does not FORCE anything, really. And I'm sure He wept harder than any of the families of the victims.

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  4. I believe God call's us home when our work is done on earth. For you Haley I would reference Thessalonians 5:9-11

    For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.


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