Often, when something unpleasant happens to a friend, or neighbour, the common response is that God "allowed it." Norman Grubb once wrote: "If and when disturbing things come to us or our neighbours, and we only say God 'allowed' it, we seem to imply a weakness in God, as if He is sorry about such things, but He cannot help it. NO! God causes; He ordains; He intends, but NOT He 'allows'".
Decided one day to check in the concordance to see if Norman were correct. "Allow" is used many times for man, but not for God. The only time there is something close is in Heb. 6:3, where it says, "And this we will do, if God permit." "Permit" sounds something like "allow", but has a different nuance. If you want to add a room to your home, the city will "allow" you to do it; but if you want to go through with it, you must obtain a "permit".
We do not have to apologize for God, or make excuses for Him. He has very definitely taken all responsibility for what has happened to His creation [after all, HE planned it all]. One place where we see this made clear, that God takes responsibility, is Romans 8:20, "For the creature [creation] was made subject to vanity [decay, futility, imperfection],not willingly [not by its own choice], but by reason of Him who has subjected the same in hope." Ah yes, all is of God, but always IN HOPE (expectation).
Something that happened to me a few days ago was an instance, to me, that ALL IS OF GOD. I was going out of the garage, using the back door [intending to feed the birds], when a gust of wind slammed the door on the middle finger of my left hand [PTL it was not the right hand). It hurt!!! I cannot describe the pain; I thanked God (yes, we are to thank Him IN all things, and FOR all things), crying at the same time because of the excruciating pain. As I walked to the bird feeder, a thought came to me (from my Abba Father, who is Love, Who gives me His thoughts) - it was a reminder that those who are being persecuted and tortured for Christ, experience such pain, over and over again. I was hit only once, not several times with rods, whips, chains, nor were my fingernails pulled out...or worse. Ah, it gave me a fresh, a real, understanding of what these people are put through. I volunteer at Voice of the Martyrs, and so hear of horrific things all the time; but may I say this severe blow to that small part of my body gave me a perspective, an awareness, I had not really known before.
God did NOT allow that - He did it. After all, is it not He who controls the "stormy winds"? Ps. 148:8 They "fulfill His will!" The pain eventually subsided, the finger was not broken (did turn a beautiful colour of purple), and I can use it, kind of (if am careful). Better every day...
Yes, it is an episode I would rather not repeat, but how thankful I am to know that there was a purpose in it all - a loving purpose.