When something bad happens to someone good, we often stop for a moment and ask, “Why?” Why does a mother or father die at a young age, leaving children and a spouse behind? Why does a marriage that looks almost perfect end in divorce? Why does a spouse betray the mate that has been faithful to them from the first day of their marriage? This list can go on and on. You can add your own “whys” to the list. It seems like as followers of Christ, at some point we think the bad things should not happen to us. As if we should be covered with an invisible shield that protects us from the evils of this world when those evils fall on other people.
Faith is an interesting thing. There is usually a joy that comes with understanding and embracing the Gospel and realizing that God loves you more than you could ever imagine. We then seek Him. We would never miss a worship service and we start reading the Bible in a way we never did before. We tell others about our discovery. In other words, we are on fire for God. Then something bad happens. It’s painful and we wonder how this could happen. After all God, we are following you and telling others about you. Doesn’t that count for something? Why, God? Why?
As a Christian counselor, I see the pain in people’s lives every day. I see good people who love God suffer. Often, I hear the question, “Why me?” Or “why us?” Most of the time, I don’t know why, but there are things that I do know. I know them because I have experienced them in my own life.
God never promised us a perfect life. In fact, Jesus told us that in this life we would have trouble. But he also said to take heart because He has overcome the world.
What does that even mean? I believe that it means in this life we are not shielded from the things everyone else on this planet has to deal with. We get sick. We are betrayed. Our marriage struggles. In other words, we are just like everyone else - except for one thing. When we go through bad things, we do not go through them alone. God is with us. He gives us peace in the storm. We truly “never walk alone.” Those are not just words from a song, but an eternal truth that never changes.
One other thing is still a mystery to me. When I go through bad things and walk with God, I learn and grow and find healing in the process. Over and over in my life God has used the bad things that I encountered and brought something good out of them. He showed me and taught me things I would never have learned if those bad things had not been a part of my life.
Don’t misunderstand me on this - I don’t sit around waiting for something bad to happen so God can grow me. Instead, I embrace every day as the gift God means it to be, and I know if something bad happens, I have Him at my side. It wipes out the “why do bad things happen” questions and replaces them with His presence. There may be pain and hurt, and it may take time to heal, but I have found that God is more than enough. The next time something bad happens to you, turn to God and let Him show you all that He can do. You will be amazed at how much He loves you!
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