Thursday, May 22, 2008

When bad things happen to good people

Perhaps the most often asked question on earth is this: Why do bad things happen to good people?
The past couple of months my heart has been breaking for my sweet cousin Phil who’s precious infant son, David, is quickly loosing his battle with cancer. Today I heard about the horrible tragedy of Christian artist Steven Curtis Chapman’s 5 -year -old adopted daughter Maria’s death. While trying to make sense out of this - I find myself once again on my knees praying and asking God WHY? Why do bad things happen to good people?
More than anything when things like this occur in life, we want a concrete answer to this question. We want something to grasp onto – something to make sense. Somewhere in life, we want our head and our heart to come to a place where the questions that never fade- find the answers that never fail. These answers I believe are in the bible.

We are humans- we live and we die. We live in a world filled with good and bad. God didn’t promise us we’d have a life contrary to the world we live in. He didn’t promise there would be no pain, or sorrow- or death. He didn’t promise we would be sheltered from the world we live in. But God did promise to be there for us- to give us peace and comfort- even when the world tells us there is none.
Yet He didn’t stop there- God provided us a way out. He created an eternal paradise- a place of eternal glory where there will be no more crying, pain, sickness, or death. A place where people will share His joy forever. God created heaven for us. (Revelation 21:4 “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of thins has passed away.”)

You see, we were created for eternity, and tragedy can never change that. We may not fully understand how this can be when we are broken into pieces and in pain, but our lack of understanding does not change or destroy the truth. Before we were born God knew exactly how long we would live and how we would die. “All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be” The psalmist said to God in Psalms 139:16. This remains true whether those days are many or few.

Over the years I've learned that you can't be fooled by the smile on someones face. Everybody has a story that includes pain and suffering. Behind each smiling face you will discover a story of pain, difficulty, heartache, and many unanswered questions. Not that people aren't happy--they are--or at least most of us are. But no one gets a free ride through life. No one makes it through life without scars. It doesn't matter whether you're rich or poor, famous or a hermit. If you live long enough, you will know pain. You will know what it feels like to have your heart broken into pieces. If you live long enough, you will brush the tears away as death comes to your door. We live in a world filled with pain, suffering and death.

Often our first mistake is to believe that trials will never come our way- and because of that- be unprepared for them. Even Jesus suffered trials- and Jesus promised us trials as well. (John 16:33). Yet Because our God is all knowing, He knew when these tragedy’s came we would come to Him asking. So in Proverbs 3:5-6 he tells us to- "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight."

Yet not only is God all knowing- He understands. He’s been there, done that. He’s experienced pain himself- He gets it. "For God so loved the world, that he gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life" (John 3:16). He too has experienced loss- He knows what death feels like- he gave his son for US.

In this lifetime, we will experience youth, but we will also experience aging.
We will experience gains, but we will also experience losses.
We will experience pleasure, but we will also experience pain.
We will experience health, but we will also experience sickness.
We will experience life, but we will also experience death.
My prayer for myself and for you is that you truly live in this life time you have been given. May you live each of your days- making them count.

Lord, help us to remember that each day we are given is a gift. Help us to remember to really live. I lift up Maria Chapman and David Weber to you Lord. While I may not ever completely understand why Lord, I completely trust you. I know you are a loving God and that you love Maria and David more than we can possibly ever comprehend. Hold their families Lord- give them the comfort and peace only you can give. Thank you Lord for these precious children-because of their times on this earth the world is a better place.

The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised” (Job 1:21).


Sara said...

Very well spoken helps us gain perspective in times of difficulty. Thank you for this post.

Recovering Noah said...

You have such a way with words, Amy. Can I copy this post to my blog? I think a lot of people could benefit from it.


Anonymous said...

I pray for David and Maria too. I'm sure that this will help Phil and Rachel when they read it. May they find peace in your words. I have thought so much of Wayne (Davids grandfather) lately. I know he's waiting in Heaven to hold little David in his arms.