Why Did God Allow My Child to Die, While Evil People Still Live?

Question from a reader:

I lost my son last year in an accident. I know he is in Heaven with Jesus, but I miss him so much. He was a wonderful person. Why does God allow people like him to die while evil people still live on the earth?

Answer from Stephanie Anderson, EPM staff:

I’m so sorry to hear about your son and what happened. It's so hard when we have questions like these and things seem to make absolutely no sense from a human perspective. Any attempts to answer such questions can seem trite or even be unhelpful. What I will do is share a couple of thoughts from Scripture and then recommend some resources that you can consider for further reading.

First, I think it’s important to realize that your questions echo those of the psalmists, who also asked honest and very frank questions of God. One of my favorite Psalms is Psalm 73. In the beginning, Asaph writes honestly:

1 Surely God is good to Israel,
to those who are pure in heart.
2 But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled;
my steps had nearly slipped.
3 For I envied the arrogant
when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
4 They have no struggle in their death;
their bodies are well-fed.
5 They are free of the burdens others carry;
they are not afflicted like other men.

He struggles with this until verse 17 when an eternal perspective begins to take hold of him. He starts to understand that the way things appear from a human perspective are not the same as how they appear from God’s perspective. Evil people will have to answer to the righteous, perfect Judge and He will set all things right (verses 16-20). Asaph then ends with these beautiful verses:

23 Yet I am always with You;
You hold my right hand.
24 You guide me with Your counsel,
and later receive me in glory.
25 Whom have I in heaven but You?
And on earth I desire no one besides You.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.
27 Those far from You will surely perish;
You destroy all who are unfaithful to You.
28 But as for me, it is good to draw near to God.
I have made the Lord GOD my refuge,
that I may proclaim all Your works.

I love how verse 28 says, “I have made the Lord God my refuge.” Asaph made a purposeful choice to rest in God and experience His comfort and protection. Though it’s not easy, that’s the best thing we can do when we are hurting and experiencing great pain and suffering. I hope and pray that God’s Word will be a refuge and a comfort to you.

For further reading, Randy has answered a question similar to yours: Why Does God Take Some People to Heaven So Young? Here is another article: Hope and Perspective When We’re Dealing with Doubt. I want to also highly recommend Jerry Sitser’s book A Grace Disguised: How the Soul Grows through Loss, written by a man who lost his mom, wife, and daughter in an accident. I found his insights helpful during a time of suffering and pain in my life. Here is a list of more books on grief that may be of interest.

May God be your refuge and strength and comfort.

Photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash

Stephanie Anderson is the communications and graphics specialist at Eternal Perspective Ministries.