I used to utter the phrase when I was younger, but as I get older and try to live more simply, they do not cross my lips.
I usually hear the phrase when someone is trying to comfort another during a crisis, “We cannot understand God’s will,” they utter. As if we could know?
We use these two simple words to try to relieve or remove emotional and spiritual pain. We try to explain a tragedy. But we cannot. And by trying to do so, we could actually deepen the wound because it introduces the possibility that God caused it. Man am I mad at God, if that is the case.
As for me, I believe that God chose the laws of nature and freedom of choice as more important principles than God directing every single action that happens with some divine purpose behind it. Things happen.
Let me give you an example. When I was ten years old, my mother died suddenly from a blood clot to her lungs a few days after routine surgery. Did God cause her death so that I and/or my family could learn something? I don’t think so. That doesn’t seem like a loving God who “takes away” a little boy’s mama so he can learn a life lesson.
On the other hand, did I learn something from the experience? Yes.
But the question still is, did God cause it, was it God’s will? How in creation could I know that?
This is what I learned from that God-awful experience:
- God never leaves us, no matter what.
- God will give us strength beyond our own, if we ask for it.
- God is available and willing to create something new out of the tragedy, if we are open to it.
Always present, never forced, always our choice.
What I am really trying to say is that I believe God is our companion, comforter, and creator during crises, and not the cause.
And to me, that makes a difference. What about you? What do you believe?