Sharon Harris is wife, mother, English teacher, amateur photographer, and gardener.

My family is traumatized because of the sudden deaths of several relatives, and now my parents are getting a divorce. Why does God allow all of this to happen in a Christian family?


Question: My family is traumatized because of the sudden deaths of several relatives, and now my parents are getting a divorce. Why does God allow all of this to happen in a Christian family?

Answer:  We often try to understand the reasons God didn’t intervene to block some events that He knew would cause us great grief. Physical death is a part of life, and Jesus came into our world to make sure we would be given eternal life with Him in heaven! When we ask Him to come into our daily lives and be our Master and Guide, we are assured of that secure future home. As for divorce, it separates family members from one another, which is never what God desired for us. Even though we make mistakes, God promises that “He works all things together for good for the people who love Him and who have been called to fulfill His purposes.” (Romans 8:28)

Do you realize that He can bring good results – “beauty for ashes” –  out of the sad times in our lives? Isaiah 61:1-3 shows He heals the brokenhearted, comforts us in suffering, and brings joy back into our hearts, not just for us but so that others will see it and give Him all the credit:

“…to comfort all who mourn, to console the mourners in Zion — to give them a crown of beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, and a garment of praise for a spirit of despair. So they will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.”

Jesus didn’t say that His followers would have comfortable, happy lives without difficult times and conflict. He warned His disciples that while they were on earth, life would sometimes be tragic. One comforting thought to hold onto is that Jesus experienced suffering Himself. He was born to a poor family and experienced hardships. When He was a baby, an evil king sent soldiers to kill Him, and so His parent had to leave their country in the middle of the night to escape. When He and His parents eventually returned home, daily life was still hazardous because of the cruel Roman dictatorship over their land. As an adult, Jesus’ own disciples, friends, and family sometimes doubted Him, and everyone deserted Him in fear when He was arrested! Only two relatives and two friends were with Jesus when He was put to death on a cross. Jesus certainly knows what hurting feels like. He’s definitely been there.

“He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief. Like one from whom men hide their faces, He was despised, and we esteemed Him not. Surely, He took on our infirmities and carried our sorrow; yet we considered Him stricken by God, struck down, and afflicted. But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.…”  Isaiah 53:3-5

You must realize and accept that tough times are a reality, but for Christians, the future is bright! There are glorious days ahead! Like the Bible shows us about our human existence, Jesus knew His sufferings would be short-lived.  He came into the world already knowing about the terrible times He would face as a young adult. He lived on earth for the purposes of showing people what God was really like and dying to take the punishment that men and women deserved. He also was resurrected on the third day after His death to demonstrate to us what eternal life would be like. Jesus has been alive in heaven ever since, preparing a place for each one of us who trusts in Him to join Him after our earthly deaths. Jesus promised this in John 14:1-4. What a comfort to know!

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe in Me as well.  In My Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and welcome you into My presence, so that you also may be where I am.  You know the way to the place where I am going.”

Just as God had very important reasons for allowing Jesus to suffer, He has a definite plan for your life. God knows what’s best for you and others and will accomplish His work. Ask Him to help your mind to be at peace, knowing that He has a very good reason for allowing all that happens. Trust God and say the same words Jesus prayed when He knew He was about to be killed:

“O my Father, if it is possible, don’t let these bad things happen to me. But regardless of what I want, just do what you know is best.”  Matthew 26:39

Have you ever asked Jesus to guide you and help you in all that you do?

NOW is the time. Don’t put it off any longer. God wants to fill you with His hope and peace for your future!

If God has led you to read these words, He is prompting you to talk with Him and ask Him to save you from your bad choices and more future heartache.

Pray or say:

Dear Jesus, I don’t fully understand how you can be present with me each day, but, in faith, I ask you to do this, beginning now. It’s also a mystery to me how you died long ago on a cross to take the punishment that I deserved for all the wrong things I’ve done. Thank you for doing this for me and for coming back to life to show me the life after death that I can look forward to! Please forgive me for ignoring you and not believing people who told me about you. I ask that you forgive me for the wrongs I’ve done, and help me to resist my selfish, angry, unforgiving habits. I understand now how much you must love me that you suffered such a terribly painful death to save me. Just show me every day how to live to please you in the way I love you and love others. Thank you! Amen.

“I bless the holy name of God with all my heart. I will bless the Lord and not forget all the glorious things He does for me. He forgives all my sins, heals all my diseases, redeems my life from destruction, crowns me with lovingkindness and tender mercies, and satisfies my mouth with good things so that my youth is renewed like the eagle’s!”  Psalm 103:1-5

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