April 17, 2008

Why do bad things happen to good people?

Yes, I am trying to tackle this sticky issue! Remember the book by this title? For the longest time, I just had the pat answer that God is God and we won't ever understand why bad things happen. As I've grown older and, I hope, wiser, I've started to realize the complexity of this issue.

The reason I bring this up is that I have seen a lot of bad things happen to good people lately and I'm sick of it! This week alone, a friend's 2-year old grandson was beaten to death by his stepfather; another friend fell and broke her leg in three places; and a friend who was thought to have MS actually has a rare illness that I've never heard of that is not going to get better, if the doctors are correct. Basically, they have told the family they will make her comfortable. You know what that means! I'm angry. I'm hurting. All of these people are Christians and love God will all their beings. So, what's going on??

The short answer is I don't know. I wish I had some spiritual answer that sounded lofty and helpful, but I don't. There are times when I have seen a bad situation turned to good, and I'd love to see that happen here, but if it doesn't, does that mean God doesn't love these people? Does it mean that satan is working overtime to make their lives miserable? Yeah. That's what he loves to do. However, to simplify this down and say that it's all about the devil is to give him too much credit. He loves to create mischief and I get that, but I also have come to understand that way back when Adam and Eve sinned, the world changed. Sin made the world a corrupt place that inevitably has sickness and disease, greed and hatred, lust, etc. I could go on, but I won't.

The bottom line in all of this is that Jesus said that while we were in this world, we would have trouble. However, He also said to be of good courage because He has overcome the world! That's the good news. That's what keeps me hopeful when I get bad news. It doesn't stop me from hurting for the people I love or for myself when it hits home, but it does put things into perspective when the going gets rough.

There's a Christian song out on the radio these days that says in part, "...Sometimes, He calms the storm with a whisper," 'Peace, be still'. "He can settle any sea, but it doesn't mean He will. Sometimes, He holds us close and lets the wind and waves go wild. Sometimes, He calms the storm. At other times, He calms His child.".

This song has ministered to me many a time, especially in the last few years when things have been hard for Erica and me. I may not ever understand fully why tragedy, pain, heartache, death, disease and all of those other horrible things happen in this life. I do know, though, that I'm glad to know the God who will wipe every tear away and who cares about what happens to us.

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