Why do Bad Things Happen to Good People?
God's pedagogy is severe because the truth is severe. Some truth has horns. Divinization does not take place without god in the valley of tears contrary to the promise of the serpent (Genesis 3:5). The serpent planted humanity in the toxic soil of crucifixion. Many and merciless are the crosses that nail themselves to us as we pass through the valley of tears including the worst of crosses, death. In short, the valley of tears is hostile territory. Our predicament in the valley of tears is dire. We are in trouble. We cannot rescue ourselves. We need help.
How do we reconcile
- our dire predicament in the valley of tears and
- God as our almighty lover?
Surely, if God were our almighty lover, he would not tolerate our dire predicament in the valley of tears? Surely, he would rescue us? Surely, he would render help?
That he is not rescuing us - that he is not helping us - is valid reason for us to conclude that God is not our almighty lover - that God does not even exist.
Our logic, however, is built on a false premise. God is indeed rescuing us. His conception of rescue, however, is different than our conception of rescue (Isaiah 55:8-9). There is a difference of opinion. God's prevails.
The reasons that God lets us bad things happen to good people are found here (Pickles Marinate in a Barrel of Brine). Many are the reasons for letting us stew in the valley of tears.
But God is not a sadist. God is a philanthropist. He is aware that the truth held by the valley of tears has horns. So he has taken measures to mitigate the harshness of our passage through the valley of tears. God dilutes its harshness. He dulls its edge. He has provided a sanctuary in the middle of the storm.