My wife and I have been going through some rough times lately. Actually, we are still in the middle of some of that now. She was pregnant, and we lost the baby. It has caused some pretty serious pain, as both a husband and a father. I know I'm not the only one to have gone through this; not by a long shot. Actually, one of the things which has surprised me as we've gone through the grieving process is how many have approached us and said they have gone through the same thing.
So I'm not trying to herald myself as some sort of martyr. It's just been hard. If you've been there, you know. If you haven't, there is likely some other tragedy which has happened in your life, and while you don't understand this particular pain, pain itself is not foreign to you.
As we've moved through this, we have discovered something wonderful; our faith in God has not shaken. I have written on pain many times in the past, and how evil is not a reflection of God or His character. One of those posts, with links to a couple more, is here, if you're interested. What I have noticed is that the theology of God which I have held is no less true in the darkness than it is in the light.
Let me sum up a few thoughts on this.
First, evil, pain, death and darkness are not reflections of the character of God. God is love. He does not want these things. They are a reflection of all that is ungodly in the world.
Secondly, God does not always get what He wants. He does not want these things, but out of His love He created both men and angels with free will, and while we have a great deal of power we can use for good, God has seen fit to give us the freedom to use that same power for evil. That is true free will.
Secondly, death is a result of sin in the world, and this will one day be put to an end. This is a day I long for. It is in this which I put my hope, even when things are going all haywire around me.
Thirdly, God is not distant in my pain, but is near. He walks with me through the valley of the shadow of death, and while evil might be around me, I will not fear.
These things cause me to love God more, and to have even more faith in Him. I'm glad, for the record, that God doesn't control all events. I'm glad He didn't take my baby.
God is good, all the time. For this, I'm thankful.