Where is God in Grief & Tragedy?
Where is God in grief and when we face tragedy and loss? How can God allow such awful things to happen and such good people to die? These are questions I have wrestled with for years.
Nothing can prepare our hearts for the grief that follows tragic loss. In fact, now, twelve years after experiencing this, I still find myself seeking out healing and hope at times when the grief resurfaces. Because tragedy changes us and the way that we see the world.
It opens us up in ways that we never would have been and it leaves us raw and reactive to things that threaten to pull that grief and pain to the surface.
So if you are struggling with finding God in the midst of tragedy and loss, I hope that today’s post will be an encouragement for you in the healing process.
Twelve years ago, I experienced tragic loss that has stuck with me until this day. I have found healing and renewal in many areas of this grief, and yet, as with any grief, there are parts that still remain.
A few years ago I wrote a post about coping with grief and some of the most powerful things I learned through my own healing process. I will link this post at the bottom for you to read next if you are looking for hope and healing as well.
But, if you’re anything like me, when you face your grief, you are wondering where was God in this tragedy? Why did God allow such suffering and pain?
So let’s look at this question because I often find that when we get stuck on this question, it serves as a roadblock to finding true healing.
Asking the Tough Questions: Why did God allow this?
When we face tragedy, it is natural for us to have questions. If you are asking these questions, that is okay. It’s not wrong to ask and to seek out an answer to them.
But we cannot allow Satan to gain a foothold and get stuck on these questions.
Because there will be times where the answer seems far and unclear. There will be times where the tragedy seems to make no sense at all.
I do believe that as we pray for understanding, God can give us little glimpses. But how can we find hope when the answers aren’t clear?
God’s Heart is Breaking Too
God loves us more than we can ever know. In our suffering, His heart is breaking too. We know He understands this very thing as we read John 11 and the story of raising Lazarus from the dead. In fact, in reflecting on this, I read this story in an entirely different light.
When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died." When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. "Where have you laid him?" he asked. "Come and see, Lord," they replied. Jesus wept. -John 11:32-35
Jesus was troubled by the grief of Mary and the Jews who had come with her.
He was moved by his compassion for those he loved and he wept.
If you ever question the heartbreak and grief that God can feel for us and alongside us, may this passage be an encouragement to you. God is walking alongside you. Your pain is not foreign to Him. He cares so deeply, He weeps beside us.
God’s Plan is Greater Than We Can Imagine
And yet He does not remain there. In this story, Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead. This was greater than anything Mary and those with her could imagine. A dear friend lost and now risen again.
And God has something for you too. He has something greater than you can imagine.
It looks different for each of us. In my own experience of tragedy, I saw countless people come to a saving relationship with God through the loss of a friend.
I saw God work in and through people in bigger ways than I’ve ever seen.
God has a plan and we must cling to this truth. His plan is good, is working for our good.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. -Romans 8:28
God Wants You to Find Healing & Sanctification
God doesn’t want us stuck in our grief. I believe it is extremely important to allow ourselves to feel the pain and grief. It is important to have those around you who can sit with you in this pain and allow you to feel it.
But we cannot get stuck there. God wants you to find healing and sanctification. He wants to renew and restore you. I’d love to say that this takes the grief away, but honestly, I don’t know if it will ever be fully restored side of heaven. But we can cling to the hope that that is the direction we are heading.
God is at work in our hearts. Don’t allow yourself to dwell in the pain. Feel it, but do not dwell. We must set our minds on things above. We must dwell on His Word & in prayer.
How Satan Tries to Get a Foothold
Satan will want you to dwell on the pain. To be honest, it feels good to dwell in the pain. It calls to us and almost feels like relief when we allow ourselves to do this. But it always leads to more pain.
God is calling us to something so much better. In the thick of grief, it may be hard to fully grasp, but know that it is true. He wants to bring you healing.
So don’t let Satan get a foothold in this. Resist the temptation to dwell in your grief and instead seek out healing and healthy boundaries in your mind.
I would encourage you to click over to this post to read more about coping with grief. And please comment below and share how I can be praying for you in this process.
I absolutely love your perspective on this, especially where God’s heart is broken too, most people never consider how he feels with everything that’s happening in today’s world.
Thanks for sharing this encouraging message! It is helpful to remember that God has such an amazing plan for us but that Satan will try to get in the way of that plan by encouraging us to magnify our problems and stay stuck where we are. If we can trust in God’s love for us, we have so much to look forward to even in the midst of our grief!
As you said, it’s good to remember God’s heart is breaking in tragedy so we know He cares! I also like to meditate on eternity where every crooked line will be straightened. Great post for the times, Nicole!
I love how you mentioned God’s heart is also breaking too. He sees us, He is always with us, and He is familiar with every pain. Even though He always has a plan, He doesn’t take delight in seeing us walk through grief and brokenness. I’m thankful for the hope we have in Jesus; that He is still working and still healing!
Thanks for sharing.
This is exactly what I needed to read today, thank you!