Would God Really Take Our Loved Ones Prematurely So We Will Be Better People?

Question from a reader:

On his Facebook, Randy wrote, “As many accident victims know, rehabilitation can be long and excruciating. Though their physical therapists act in their best interests, patients commonly get angry at them. Sometimes we may resent God for imposing unwanted difficulties on us. If we see through the lens of eternity, however, that resentment changes to thanksgiving for making us better and ultimately happier people, even if it costs us temporary pain and extreme inconvenience.”

Would God really kill our loved ones prematurely so we will be “better and happier”? That seems like a sick concept.

Answer from Stephanie Anderson, EPM staff:

If I recall from your past comments, you recently lost someone close to you. I’m sorry for your loss and the depth of grief you must be experiencing.

No Bible verse says God kills our loved ones prematurely so we will be happier, and that’s not Randy’s point in his post, either. Scripture does tell us that God is the author of life; He has exclusive prerogatives over it (Deuteronomy 32:39). The lives of our loved ones are in His hand, and He knows each of their days before they came to be (Psalm 139: 16).

Grief never feels good. Even Jesus wept. Our God is not without understanding and compassion; He is very near to the brokenhearted (Psalm 34:18). We live in a broken world where, due to sin, every one of us will die, and others will grieve for us. Randy is currently grieving the death of his wife, Nanci. And yet, in His sovereignty, God can use even grief (Romans 8:28) to draw us to Himself and to cause us to depend on Him and grow closer to Him, until He brings us safely into His kingdom. Only He could bring beauty out of such ashes (Isaiah 61:3). Jesus says, “Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh” (Luke 6:21). An eternity of joy and comfort in His presence is ahead.

It takes time to reach this place of perspective. Be patient with yourself during this process. One of our staff wrote another grieving commenter, “If you keep seeking God’s face and keep being honest with Him about your pain and keep asking Him your questions humbly and with the desire to remain faithful whether you like the answers or not, you will make it through this with greater faith and a beautiful sense of God’s great love and care for you. The Valley of the Shadow of Death is a scary, lonely, dark place; aren’t you glad Jesus is our Good Shepherd who walks through it with us to the banquet at the other end? And, also in Psalm 23, don’t miss the beginning: ‘Because the Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.’”

Photo: Unsplash

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