An organization called “Faith Biblical Counseling” tweeted this today: “Hurting and grieving parents are often comforted by remembering that Jesus loves their children more than they ever could.”
Reading statements like this makes me see red. This idea diminishes the grief and loss that those parents face. It refuses to name evil as such. It denies their very real pain. If you are in this position, may I recommend a few posts on lament, pain, evil, and God?
Without Lament We Lie About God
The worst songs (and the teaching that goes with them) imply that even to name the bad things makes them true and gives them power over us. God does promise a happy ending, but it often comes after our death. God never promises ease and comfort and happy endings here, now, in this life. Quite the opposite. God promises trouble and pain. (“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33) But He also promises to be there with us because He, in Jesus, has walked through every painful experience of life already. Do you see how this can shipwreck someone’s faith? If you tell me God gets me out of every trouble, and then He doesn’t, I will naturally conclude that God has broken his promise, that He is not trustworthy. Telling me not to name my pain gives it the power to destroy my faith. For who will worship and obey a God who breaks His promises?
Gratitude Lists and What To Do With Pain
To me, it is a great disrespect to call something bad “good.” It minimizes the real suffering and the ongoing permanent loss experienced by those of us to whom bad things happen.” Maybe what God wants us to do with our pain is to see it for what it is, and work against it.
God, Grief, Child Killers, and Second Chances
I am not saying that God renames evil as “good.” I do not believe that God will never say, “The murder of this child is good” or “Cancer is good” or “Rape is good.”