I love Calvin and Hobbes. It’s one of my favorite comic strips. In one particular strip, Calvin left Hobbes lying around somewhere but Calvin couldn’t remember where. And after moping on his bed for a while, he cried out to God, “Whatever it was, I’m sorry already!” (You can see the strip here.)
In this passage in I Kings, a woman cries out something similar. This widow who had helped Elijah in his time of need, who had already lost her husband, now lost her son as well. He got sick, and despite all she could do, he died. In those days, that put her in desperate straits because she was probably depending on her son to support her in her old age. And so she cried out to Elijah,
What do you have against me, man of God? Did you come to remind me of my sin and kill my son? (verse 18)
How often do we say the same thing? Something bad happens to us, and we automatically think God must be punishing us for something?
But God wasn’t punishing her for anything she did. Rather, her son died because we all live in a broken world. The direct result of Adam’s sin in the garden was that death came to this world. Sickness came. Brokenness came.
But just as God breathed life into her son through Elijah, God can breathe life into the most hopeless of our circumstances. I’m not saying that he will take away your problem as he did with the widow’s son, although he may do just that. But even if he doesn’t, he will never abandon you, and he will see you through.
Is God punishing you? Perhaps. Search your heart and ask God if there is any sin there that you need to repent of. If there is any, God will reveal it to you, and if you repent, he will forgive and restore.
But know that just because things are going badly in your life, it doesn’t necessarily mean that God is punishing you. And if you can’t see any reason for what’s going on in your life, then don’t punish yourself by thinking you’ve committed some unknown sin. And don’t think God is out there with a big bolt of lightning just ready to zap you anytime you make a mistake.
He loves you. He’s there for you. And he will see you through. So through all that you go through, place yourself in God’s hand, and you will see healing in your life from all the hurts you suffer from in this broken world.