Why does God let bad things happen?

Yesterday Zoe fell off the trampoline onto the sidewalk and then down the one cement step.   It happened so fast neither Marc nor I saw it coming.  I’d just taken her off the trampoline!  Why did she get back up the second my back was turned?  She’d asked to get down, so it’s not like she was going back up out of an act of defiance.  Still, somehow she fell and collided with the sidewalk.   Thankfully she didn’t hit her head.  She also wasn’t really hurt.  Shocked and surprised yes, but there wasn’t even so much as a mark on her.

Marc and I weren’t so lucky.  Her scream echoed in our heads for hours.  Just the idea that last night could have ended much differently.  That brief moment could have once again drastically changed our lives forever.  Thankfully it didn’t but it left us shaken up.

The thing that I found awkward afterwards was my reaction.  I wanted to thank God that she wasn’t hurt, but then I questioned whether that implied that He intervened?  And if she was seriously hurt or killed, would that imply that He chose not to intervene?   I guess my question is:  if we can’t really blame God when bad things happening, then why do we give Him the credit when bad things don’t happen?   If Zoe was okay then God gets the credit but if she was seriously injured God doesn’t get the blame?  Aren’t they two sides to the same coin?

I obviously don’t know the answer but I still struggled with wanting to say thank you to God that Zoe was fine.

I’ve had this video from Fr. Mike Schmitz saved in draft for a few weeks now and I re-listened to it just now.  It doesn’t directly answer my question – or does it?  It’s about “God’s will”.  It starts with a similar situation.  A little baby rolls off a change table and dies.   Fr. Mike says it wasn’t God’s will.  Zoe falling off the trampoline wasn’t God’s will either.  It was Zoe’s will!  She climbed up again and must have slipped or something.   But why do some children fall and survive and other children fall and not survive?  Is God’s will in there somewhere?   I wish I understood. Maybe I’ll have to listen to the clip again and again until I hear the answer.

5 Replies to “Why does God let bad things happen?”

  1. Ken and Janine Kessler

    Thank you for sharing your struggles with us Patti. Your vulnerability is a gift to the rest of us, and I know there are MANY people out here in cyberspace who have similar struggles.
    Being ‘real’ is the best way to help each other along this journey.

  2. Tati R.

    Thank you so much for sharing one more time and to write some of the questions I myself struggle with, too. Have received the entry about answers and I’m looking forward to spending some time reading it and digesting it, too. Meanwhile, our prayers continue to the whole D. family. Send our love and our kiss to not-so-little Zoe anymore.

    • pattidansereau Post author

      Will do, Tatiana! You’re right, Zoe isn’t so little any more. This week she discovered that if she uses a chair or stool she can reach a lot more things, like cookies and crackers in the cupboard or sharp knives on the counter! Yesterday she took the stool out of her room, put it at the very edge at the top of the stairs, and tried to reach the cord for the ceiling fan. Just about gave me a heart attack. Had she lost her balance she could have fallen down the stairs or tumbled over the banister and straight down to the main floor. I thought Johanna had extra Guardian Angels when she was little but Zoe must have a whole dozen!

      Praying for you guys too!!!!!!


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