I’m supposed to be working on some articles now (yes, this is the WAHM life for you! Working on a Saturday!). But I couldn’t help sneaking in this blog post, if only to try to put some sense into what I’m feeling right now. I’m sure most, if not all, of you have seen the images and news articles all over the Internet by now — with the hashtag #prayforparis — about the most recent terrorist attacks in Paris, France.
In other places around the world, terrible, terrible things have happened… and are still happening as I type out these words. We don’t even need to look further than our own country actually, with all the bad news that we’ve been reading and watching about.
It’s enough to make you think, “Why is all this happening? Where is God in all this? Why is He letting this happen?”
It’s so hard to find answers to these questions at times… especially when it’s our children who ask them.
“Where is God when bad things happen?” we may ask. Jesus Himself assures us in Matthew 28:20:
He is ALWAYS with us. He will NEVER leave us.
But why is He letting these terrible things happen? Why the Paris terrorist attacks? Why the bombings? The earthquakes? And other natural and man-made disasters and calamities and tragedies?
To be perfectly honest with you, I don’t think we’ll ever have all the answers to these questions. Not until we see God face to face anyway (that’s if we, well, you know, ever get to Heaven). Just as it’s written in this article from Catholic News Agency:
Fully to understand why God permits anything, good or bad, we’d need to know the whole of His providential plan. But that is something we can’t know until we see God face to face in heaven. Then, presumably, it will become clear how everything fits together in the final fulfillment of God’s will. For now, we can only guess.
I do know though that many, many times, bad things happen because it’s people who do bad things. Like it says in this article, God created us to have free will:
…in order for us to experience love, God bestowed on us free will. But unfortunately, we humans have abused our free will by rejecting God and walking away from Him. And that has resulted in the introduction of two kinds of evil into the world: moral evil and natural evil.
(Read the rest of the article by clicking on the link above; it’s a good read on why God allows tragedy and suffering. This article from Catholic Stand is another good read: “Why Does God Let Bad Things Happen?“)
It is a terrible tragedy when we use our free will for bad or evil, and not for good. I still can’t fathom how people can become so full of hate, and commit terrible deeds especially in the name of God and their faith. It’s sickening and heartbreaking and just plain wrong.
So I really don’t know what I can do here on this side of the world to help ease the suffering of the victims of these terrible tragedies — except pray. Let us pray. And let us trust in God’s Word:
And further on in Romans 8, we read:
What will separate us from the love of Christ? Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword? As it is written:
“For your sake we are being slain all the day;
we are looked upon as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we conquer overwhelmingly through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Yes, let’s trust in God’s word. In His love. In His power. Because if we don’t do so, it will be so much harder to face the world… the broken, hurting world that we live in.
To end, I want to share with you these beautiful words from my fellow CatholicMom.com contributor, Lori Hadorn-Disselkamp, who wrote an insightful piece titled, “Why Does God Allow Bad Things to Happen?“, earlier this year:
I guess we just have to trust that God is with us through it all — the good, the bad and the evil. We must also believe that love will always win out in the end. If we let love rule our thoughts and attitudes then evil will not be able to penetrate our souls and will never truly take over. We will overcome with God on our side.
We must let love rule our thoughts and attitudes. I must remember this, especially as a wife, mom and self-proclaimed “media missionary.” I may not be able to change the hearts of terrorists or even the people around me, but I can do all things with love… especially the things that will help shape my children’s thoughts and actions.
Love will always win out in the end, as long as we let love — TRUE love that comes only from God — rule our hearts, minds, spirits and bodies.
Let’s keep praying and loving… We’re all in this together!