It always grieves me when people, even believers, attribute evil to God, either because they think He is judging sinners or because they think He "allows" evil to happen. On a side note, it's interesting to me that when tragedy strikes an area that is considered evil, some Christians are quick to see it as judgment, but not so quick to say that when tragedy strikes close to home. Just a curious fact, I guess. :-)
So is God up there in Heaven pulling levers and pushing buttons controlling every event that happens on earth? No! Following that line of reasoning causes us to end up with a schizophrenic deity who does both good and evil! That is not the God of the Bible. And it's important to know what God is really like, dear ones, perhaps especially when tragedy strikes, because it's in the storms that we need to snuggle up close to our Papa. But it's hard to want to snuggle up to a Papa whom we think may unleash pain and suffering. But thankfully, God is in fact "Good all the time" and is the kindest, most loving Being in the Universe. And He invited us not to try to understand why (a subtle form of trying to control things), but instead invites us into His embrace.
I know this sounds like a copout to some, but as one who has faced lots of pain and seen lots of tragedy, I can tell you that the best question to ask God when evil strikes is not "Why?" but "Abba, can I crawl up into your lap?" (Do we really think that we, with our tiny and finite minds, could even begin to understand an infinite God's answer to why?).
But there's nothing wrong with thinking deeply about things and with asking God "Show me your ways" and "Help me to know you better." So I offer to you the following freshly edited blogs from previous years. If you read only one of these, I recommend that it be "The River of God's Sovereignty," but they all wrestle to some extent with the problem of bad things happening.
I could write so much more about this, but this will have to do for today. I offer no glib answers to people who have lost so much--not now, not ever. But I do offer up a view of my Abba that I hope will comfort and encourage you as much as it has me, now most recently as I watch tragedy unfold just miles from where I live.
Crawling up into His lap,
Tom, one of Abba's Children