Tragedies are sometimes called acts of God. We can think of many examples, such as earthquakes, hurricanes, volcanic eruptions, epidemics, or even, on a smaller scale, strokes, heart-attacks or various diseases. The prophet Isaiah puts it this way:
I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the Lord, do all these things. (Isaiah 45:7). We read of people who lose their faith in God when tragedy strikes close to home, as when a baby dies. In this case, the person is not simply saying to God – I can’t forgive you, but is even say, I deny your very existence.
If this is the case, it is no wonder that people curse God. If we can curse, I suppose that means we can also forgive. It might seem preposterous that we are entitled to have opinions about what God does, or does not do.
We are not in a position to understand the actions of others, or make judgments about them. We know too little. This is infinitely the case when it comes to the actions of God.
Imagine a person in the middle ages walking past a building site, and seeing what looks to be a total mess of scaffolding, dust, broken stones, piles of building materials, goes up to the architect and tells him what a terrible job he is doing. The architect might well smile and say: Don’t judge my work too soon. Come back and fifty years and you will see a magnificent cathedral.
If we have the idea that God created us so that we would live in perfect safety, never experiencing loss, sickness or death, we would naturally conclude that God is failing, and might need our forgiveness. Looking at life from a longer perspective, we might be a little more humble, not knowing how the events we experience fit in to God’s long term goals for us.
Instead of criticizing God, and demanding an apology, we would do better to simply say: I realize your ways are not ways, but I am really hurting.