One thing that happens frequently is an individual begins to rage against God when something unexpectedly painful and unjust occurs. Commonly, when someone whom one loves is tragically taken because of accident or illness, the surviving spouse or family member begins to become angry at God. Some even lose their faith that God exists. Typically, the thought, “Why would God let this happen?” is raised with vigor.
The usual answer that is given is, “God doesn’t make bad things happen. We humans have free will and choose things that lead to death and pain. Look at the Garden of Eden and what happpened there.”
This answer usually ends up only upsetting the grieving person even more, even though there is truth to it. The person is angry at God and sees death as an act of omission by God who, if he is all-good, would never allow such tragedy to occur. Often, that is as far as the conversation goes, with no resolution for either party.
The problem here is in our understanding of God, who he is and how he is. This is exactly why God as Trinity is so important to consider. Three Persons, one God. One of those persons, Jesus Christ the Son of God, assumed human nature and became irrevocably one of us. Not only that, he chose death out of love for us, and his death was tragic. His Father did not prevent it. The Father, instead, cried in grief and loved intensely for the Father and the Son and the Spirit, one God in eternal communion and relationship, never separated but worked in all ways together. In his death, Jesus, God the Son, did not rage against his all-loving Father but embraced his Love for him and for all the world. The Father and the Spirit, one God, rejoiced it the love of Jesus’ sacrfice.
The reason we humans often rage against God when we experience tragedy is because our pain keeps us from recognizing God’s never-ending presence in our live and his willingness to share our pain. Pain can blind us to God’s presence. It is pain that we see. It is a thick curtain, a foggy mirror, an eclipse of the sun, that will rob us of our vision if we allow it.
Those who rage against God in their grief don’t need theological truth as much as they need recognition of their pain and a human presence in its midst that will lead them back to faith, to clear vision, to another experience of God in their lives.
Some times, this takes years. May God assist all of us who minister to them.