It is human nature to want an explanation when things happen that turn our life upside down. When things happen that change our lives traumatically, that make no sense at all & that cause despair & feelings of hopelessness, most people, even people who claim not to believe in God, eventually do turn to God & ask; why? why did this happen? why me? & what did I do to deserve this?
Life is a complicated gift don’t you think? We are blessed in so many ways, surrounded by the beauty & goodness of all creation given to us by our gracious Creator, & yet, there are times in life when we are faced with often unexpected challenges that are outside of our control & unbalance us, turning our lives upside down to the point of despair.
When trauma of one sort or another occurs, often people feel a need to blame someone or something for causing their pain in order to make any sense of it. It is not uncommon for people to doubt God or even get angry with Him or blame Him for causing the trauma. We are taught that God is steadfast, all powerful & unconditionally loving, so when things are not going well to the point that we are traumatized, we can feel betrayed by God somehow.
Most scholars agree that the most frequently asked question when trauma hits is: “Where is God in all this?”, “Why doesn’t God stop this or why did He cause this?”. Things such as a sudden illness or serious accident, the loss of a loved one, a fire that burns our home to the ground, a job that suddenly changes & that negatively alters our economic situation through no fault of our own, or even a dream or perceived message from God that leads us in a way we do not understand or do not want to go etc., can raise all sorts of questions for us as to why something so terrible happens in this wonderful life given to us by our Creator God. I mean really, why doesn’t God stop pain & where is He when we are lost & confused? Tragedies or severe challenges often unbalance people to the point that they feel so confused & desperately hopeless that they get angry with God & step away from Him or confront Him & try to negotiate with Him or beg & plead with Him to change things & make them better, as if they know what is better than God does.
It is human nature to want an explanation when things happen that turn our life upside down. When things happen that change our lives traumatically, that make no sense at all & that cause despair & feelings of hopelessness, most people, even people who claim not to believe in God, eventually do turn to God & ask; why? why did this happen? why me? & what did I do to deserve this? The fact is there is rarely an answer given to these questions, at least not at the time of the incident. Still in desperation, typically our questions keep floating around keeping us from moving forward as we wrestle with our Creator asking why questions, trying to make some sense of our life as our desperation, hopelessness & often intense anger with God continues. So, the question is, where does the answer of “why” lay, that can help us understand the trauma of life & that subsequent despair & thus help us to move beyond it? How are we supposed to navigate through the painful, unbalancing & perceived unfairness we encounter in life & where does God who is steadfast in His love for us & all-powerful, fit into all this trauma?
~Posted by Rev Kathryn Bindig, MDiv. MS; Pastoral Care Minister with assistance from Rich Muscatello; Director of Business Development & Strategy