Hi Mara, we are very sorry to hear about this tragedy, and our prayers are with your love one. To help you better understand the biblical teaching that nothing in this world happens apart from God’s will, a distinction is helpful. There is a difference between God’s positive or active will, and His permissive or passive will. And example of this is that even though God wills for all men to be saved (His positive will) not all men actually are saved (His permissive will). That is to say, God permits that people will use their free will to reject Him. In the same way, He permits that people will use their free will to hurt others. Even though it is not God’s will that any of us commit a sin, yet He permits it. This is part of God’s permissive will. Why God allows evil things to happen to us is a great mystery, yet we can have confidence in His promise that “All things happen for the good of those who love Him.” And this even includes the evil things. God can bring great good out of every evil! This is the glorious mystery of the Cross of Christ.
Christ, why do you allow wars and massacres on earth? By what mysterious judgment do you allow innocent people to be cruelly slaughtered? I cannot know. I can only find assurance in the promise that your people will find peace in heaven, where no one makes war. As gold is purified by fire, so you purify souls by these bodily tribulations, making them ready to be received above the stars in your heavenly home.
Is your heart troubled? Are you feeling like the psalmist, who asked his own soul, "Why are you in despair? And why have you become disturbed within me?" One of the hardest parts of knowing peace is understanding how it has nothing to do with control. If you're having trouble with trust or finding the words to pray above the howling of the scary storms, feel free to offer up these words to the Lord now!
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