I have a friend whose daughter and son-in-law are finishing a three-year commitment to a international ministry. This young couple had a baby in February--my friend's first grandchild. My friend said to me, "Why would God punish me by not allowing me to see my granddaughter?"
My reply, "God is not punishing you. Your children are only following God's call for their lives."
When we want things to be different or life doesn't go the way we want, why are we quick to look to think "God is punishing me," instead of asking God to walk beside us seeking strength and insight or rest in the companionship of God's presence.
Here is another example. This question was asked at my kitchen table. My sweet friend, lost twins at 23 weeks almost two years ago. Through the time we've known each other (we met a month after her loss), she frequently asks me, "Why did God take my children?" Beth's loss is something for which I have no answer; but I tell her, "I do not believe God took your children. Sometimes bad things happen over which we have no control, but God is with you and can be a continuous source of companionship, strength and comfort." But I am not sure she believes that God is merciful.
Why do bad things happen to those who love God? Things happen, we know for sure that are sad and tragic and for which there is no reason. This question is most difficult because there is no answer other than to seek God and walk beside the grieving person with love and companionship. Lasting healing is found in our relationships with each other and with God.
All questions about God are too big. We may think, pray, puzzle, and search the Bible for answers. But it's in the search and the companions we meet along the way who are also searching that we find what we can in this life.