In our humanity many people come to a point in their life when they say or think the following sentiment, "why did God let (or allow this to) happen?" I heard someone say this recently and my heart sunk. My instant thoughts are, "what if God did not allow things to happen, what would we say then?" Think about it. What if could was controlling and overprotective and ruled with an iron fist, like we sometimes expect He ought to when we pose the aforementioned statement? What if every time we went to do or say something wrong God jumped in and stopped us? I can say for myself that I would be angry and resentful. I want freedom! Freedom to be me. I also want to be trusted. I want God to trust me with the instructions He has given me, knowing that I can follow through without His constant correction.
You see, bad (and good) things happen because God grants us one of the best gifts available, FREEDOM! The old testament is full of examples of living life according to the law. The Israelites were just as stubborn and frustrated with God then as many of us are today. Jesus paid the ultimate price of salvation for our freedom, so each one of us can choose whether or not we want to be obedient. That's why bad and good things happen to everyone, all the time. People make choices and their choices affect themselves and the people around them.
Listen to what the Bible says about our freedom:
“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1
Wow the Bible compares the opposite of freedom to being in a yoke of slavery! Think of that, if God did not give you freedom of choice and life through Christ's suffering you would still be living bound in chains and controlled by someone else.
“For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’” Romans 8:15
Again, we see that the opposite of freedom is slavery and fear. God, through Christ's sacrifice, gave us freedom and adopted us into His family. Without freedom we could not be called children of God. God does not control, manipulate, or abuse His children. He gives us the opportunity to learn from Him and follow in His footsteps without constantly checking in on or correcting our steps along the way.
So I choose to thank God for His gift of freedom; that I can choose and others can choose how to live life. When bad things happen, as they will, I will choose to run to God as my help, and not condemn Him for what has happened. When good things happen, as they will, I will choose to run to God and thank Him for His goodness and faithfulness. For everything that is good comes from God.
"Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow." James 1:17