At The Intersection of God’s Sovereignty and Free Will: Accidents and Miracles

I want to say up front that I am no theologian.  

I am, instead, a sincere follower of the Lord Jesus Christ who reads the Bible and tries hard to understand what it says and let it inform my worldview.  

I know I’ve written about this before but it comes up again and again in bereaved parent groups so I’m sharing MY perspective one more time.

Here’s the question: 

If God is sovereign (meaning all powerful) then why didn’t He save my child?  

Here’s my answer: 

God is sovereign.  There is no one more powerful in the universe.  He can and sometimes, does, interject directly in the affairs of men.  If He chose, we would be like automatons, simply doing precisely what He wanted us to do.

God has given man free will.  And that means that while there is a perfect plan and will of God for my life, for your life and for every life on this planet, I can choose not to follow it.  He will not force me into compliance.  I will often make foolish or sinful choices and may very well suffer the consequences.

The world is tainted by sin.  Our bodies are prone to sickness, disease, genetic abnormalities.  People make not only foolish choices but sinful ones-acting evilly against another person-causing harm and death.  Until the devil has been utterly cast out, we will continue to suffer in a world that is not at all as God originally intended it to be.

God has also set certain universal principles in place.  Gravity.  Physics.  Biology.  Each operates without His direct intervention according to the laws He created to give us a world that works in predictable fashion.  We have electricity in our homes because of these laws.  Internal combustion engines work a certain way, over and over and over.  When I get sick, my body temperature rises in an attempt to create a hostile environment for the invading bacteria or virus.  I depend on these laws every single day.  

In my son’s case, he made a foolish choice to drive too fast in a curve.  His motorcycle left the road (physics) and he could not maintain control nor stop it before he hit something.  His body could not sustain the blow (biology) and he died.

So many times people ascribe the word “miraculous” to someone who survives a nasty accident or is healed from disease.  It may be that God in His mercy DID miraculously deliver one person or another.  But it may be just as likely that the same laws of physics and biology (things we do not completely understand) which doomed my son, guaranteed their survival.  I cannot compare my life to theirs or my son’s accident to another.

COULD God have intervened?  Absolutely!  Did He?  No. 

But can I ask Him to step in and prevent these natural consequences when I would be very upset should He do it other times?

See, I want God to stop pain in MY life.  But (if I’m honest) I’d rather He allow it in the lives of others (those who molest children, for instance).  I want Him to reach down into this world He made and keep ME and MINE safe.

If He was reaching down all the time, this wouldn’t be the world I know, it would be a world where He was chess master and we were all pawns on the game board.  

The God I serve invites me to follow Him.  

He does not force me to make that choice.

It’s an uncomfortable mystery that I do not understand.  But I am satisfied that one day it won’t even matter.  

Because every question I have will melt away in the overwhelming joy of Heaven.  

trust god in the light



Author: Melanie

I am a shepherd, wife and mother of four amazing children, three that walk the earth with me and one who lives with Jesus. This is a record of my grief journey and a look into the life I didn't choose. If you are interested in joining a community of bereaved parents leaning on the promises of God in Christ, please like the public Facebook page, "Heartache and Hope: Life After Losing a Child" and join the conversation.

11 thoughts on “At The Intersection of God’s Sovereignty and Free Will: Accidents and Miracles”

  1. Thank you for putting this in words. I continue to trust in God. I had not considered my belief in God’s sovereignty until my son, Hunter left for heaven. It was just on the list of things I believed and accepted about God. My heart was shattered but not my faith. I held on tighter and dug deeper. I appreciate your sharing with us, things you have learned. I continue to learn , as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Melanie,
    I lost my son in a motorcycle accident as well in 2018. He was hit by a car traveling in the wrong lane, 1/2 mile from work. Agree there are so many questions and mysteries on this side of heaven. Love your thoughts and encouragement on grief. Strongly believe we serve a Sovereign God. The same God that blessed us with our sweet son, remains on the throne 23 years later. It hurts, its hard to understand why some cases have a miraculous outcome and others do not. In our case the day our son passed away, 6 families were praying for a miracle, 5 out of 6 families received earthly healing and one heavenly (complete wholeness) healing. Our son was an organ donor.
    Miss our Brenton so much it still takes my breathe away, but I walk in hope for eternity and a future together again. I pray you keep writing and encouraging others even in your pain.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. When my daughter first died I struggled with wether my daughter would/could go to heaven. She died by suicide but realistically she died from an illness, mental illness. She used to pray to God to take her because she was ready. Her words “let the little kids live and take her instead” my faith never wavered because I feel he was waiting there for my sick daughter and welcomed her. She is no longer struggling . I have never asked his
    “Why me or Why her” because then I would have to ask why not
    Jessica’s Mom, forever 28 💕💕💕

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for speaking His words into our hearts. May the Lord continue to use you and your gift of writing/speaking/testifying truth to the weary and brokenhearted.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I agree with Mary. I’ve read this that you wrote before and I loved it then. But my grieving mama’s heart and mind needed to hear it again! And I’m sure I’ll want and need to read in the future.

    Sometimes I save readings that speak to me so that I can read them over and over. This is one.

    Thanks for being God’s faithful servant child, even when it’s not pretty!

    Nancy, Dale’s mama, 18 forever

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Melanie you have a truly amazing mind. You put into words thoughts that that only loiters in the fringes of mine and you thoughts help do very much. God bless you x

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Melanie,
    Thank you for sharing this one more time. I understand this intellectual, but sometimes my heart just needs to hear it again (if that makes any sense).

    Liked by 1 person

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