Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Does God Have a Plan.....

for those who don't acknowledge Him?

This is the question that has been on my heart overnight.  Last night I followed a link to a blog in which the author has recently lost her husband.  He died suddenly of a heart attack, leaving behind his wife and two young daughters.

In her latest post, she details some of the condolences that she's received.  One of the hardest ones for her to hear is that "God has a plan".  As an atheist who left God behind when she was fourteen, she is understandably bitter about the whole God thing.  It is safe to say that she is fighting mad.

I was curious to read the comments of her followers.  Her post was not easy to read.  I found it offensive, yet I find myself sympathetic.  As I read through the comments, some said, "beautiful".  Some read, "you are the best mother - so strong, you'll be happy again".  Then there were the proselytizing ones.  There were even a few that laid out the plan of salvation to her.

I truly believe that God loves Jennie and her children.  I think he loves her late husband.  He created them, after all.  I have always been of the thought that we are here for Him, though - not the other way around.  Do you think that God has a "plan" for those who don't believe in Him? I absolutely don't have the answers, this is more of a question than a conclusion.  

The wisest commenter simply said that her dad was an oncologist - a cultural Jew, but a practicing agnostic.  Her remark was that believers find comfort in the love and protection of their God and that they simply wish that for her.  And therein lies the reason that I believe.  I can vividly remember reaching this conclusion in high school philosophy class (at a public school).  That I will believe and I will live my life in the certainty that there is a God who created me and who loves me.  And, if at the end of this life, I have been mistaken - I will have lost nothing.  I'll have lived a life of hope and purpose.  But, if at the end of this life I am joined with Him, then  I will have gained everything. 

I guess I'm wondering about the platitudes we give to grieving people.  Are they simply missing the mark on comforting - what if they're not even true?  I think if we don't know how to respond to hurting people we not only do them a disservice, but also to the God we serve.

What do you think?


  1. Tough topic, Kirsten. I'm not sure how to answer your questions. While I certainly wouldn't tell a non-believer their unsaved loved one is eternally separated from God, I can pray for them and ask God to heal their hearts and ease the grief. It's touchy isn't it? Who wants to truly believe that a 'good' person doesn't go to heaven? simple, yet oh so perplexing

    Thanks for sharing. LOVED this post! ☺

  2. I'm thinking about this post. Good questions, hits home. Need to think about it more before talking it over with you sometime. Thanks for giving me something to chew on!

  3. I had to look up "proselytizing"...I'm just going to be really up front and admit it.

    I've thought about this post a lot before I commented. I don't have any of the answers either.

    Some of the things we say to grieving people are said to make ourselves feel better and like we're actually "doing" something. We want to give comfort, to reach out and we often don't know what to say to people when something bad has happened. For those who have faith in God they want to give the same comfort they feel from their beliefs to those who don't.

    I don't think anyone will ever have the answer to the questions you posed. I want to believe there is a grand plan for each of us guided by whatever it is we each believe in (God, The Universe, whatever ) but I'm not convinced there is. Life happens.

    Your post really made me think about my own beliefs though. And eventually I'm sure this lady will find a way through her grief.

  4. Very touchy indeed, but as a Christian I believe that God does have a plan for everyone -- to acknowledge, believe, and appreciate Him. Not because He is, as a person might understand a narcissist to be, with empty and dangerously self-serving hangups, but because He is the Creator and Sustainer of all (sort of like pond water is to fish, with the exception that water is not omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, holy, or righteous (-: ). But when someone grieves, it's oft best to just be there and to listen! Grieving is part of life. Blessings!