When you go through something as horrible as losing a child, people try to make you feel better. They want to take away your pain. They want you to know that they care. With well intentions, sometimes they say the wrong thing. Often, their words hurt.
I recently watched a young mother grieve the loss of her baby. She shared her heartbreak over social media and I distinctly remember someone telling her “God has a plan”. Their words hurt and she lashed out. ”I want NO part of a God whose plan was for my baby to die”.
I understood her. I could relate.
But I know my God and He is FOR us. It was never his plan for my Sawyer to be killed by a vehicle and I don’t believe that it was his plan for that other baby to die tragically. The bible says our days are numbered and nothing takes God by surprise. Yes, God has a plan, but bad things happen in this world all the time and that doesn’t mean God caused them or that they were “His plan.” When we just assume that everything is God’s plan and flippantly throw around that phrase, we can end up causing more harm than good. And it pushes people further away from a loving God.
Let’s talk about God’s plan…the Bible tells us that God’s original plan was for us to live in peace in the Garden of Eden. Death was never His plan. Things changed when Adam and Eve disobeyed Him and ate the forbidden fruit. Thus, sin entered the world and separated us from a Holy God. Since that time, we have lived in a fallen world. Born into a broken world, none of us is without sin. God has given us free will to make our own choices. As a result of man’s sinful nature, we are often affected by our poor choices or those made by others.
Let’s not forget about Satan. Satan and his demons discretely come and go, stirring up trouble and causing strife. The thief comes to kill, steal, and destroy (John 10:10). We often don’t give him enough credit. The truth is, Satan’s involvement in our lives is a reality.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms Ephesians 6:12
The good news is…God made a way for us. He sent Jesus. Jesus, who took on our sin and gave his life willingly on our behalf. Those who believe in Him, will not perish, but will have eternal life. (John 3:16) Jesus made a way and he’s coming back! He will set things right. He will make all things new one day, creating a new heaven and a new earth. If you have repented from your sin and know Christ as your savior, your destination is secure!
So now what? What about the in between. First, we have to understand that for now we live in a sinful world. As church lingo says…a “fallen world”. Bad things happen to good and bad people alike. The Bible says the rain falls on the just and unjust alike (Matthew 5:45). But God is an opportunist and when bad things happen, he will use them for good to further His kingdom if we allow him to.
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
In the moments of our sweet Sawyer, lying in the road, barely grasping to life, I knew in my heart, that it was an attack from the enemy. I knew it in my core. We had just taken in two precious foster children and I knew the enemy didn’t want them to know Jesus. He was trying to use this to deter our family, in an attempt to destroy us and laugh in God’s face.
But God knew better…
God knew that Satan messed with the wrong family. Our faith was rooted and secure in Jesus. He knew that His Holy Spirit would strengthen us and use our tragedy to impact thousands of lives. You see, God has the eternal perspective...the whole picture. We just have a tiny glimpse. I am thankful that God continues to redeem our tragedy and that He is gracious enough to give us a glimpse of the lives that have been affected.
I know this wasn’t His plan, but I also know that he could have stopped it at any moment. There are many things that I will not understand on this side of heaven. That’s where faith comes in.
“…blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” John 20:29
Since God allowed our tragedy, I have to believe that He will work it for good, whether that is on earth or in eternity. His promise remains. At the end of the day...my family and I will continue to trust the God that we know.
*If you are interested in reading more for yourself about God’s plan of salvation. Here are some verses for you to read
2 Corinthians 5:15