Bad things happen.
Terrible, awful things that make your stomach turn and tears come to your eyes. Things that make us question God and His motives.
Why does the Lord allow bad things to happen, especially to good people?
I don’t know.
Oh, I’ve heard the pat answers from speakers and preachers and I’ve read what both Christian and secular authors have to say. Even though they’ve published books, some of them with their own picture on the front, most of their answers haven’t helped me so far. They’ve just brought more questions. I know they are good people and they mean well, but when the worst happens, I often feel like their answers are just trying to make me shut up.
But I have learned one thing for sure: Bad things happen.
They happen to Christians and non-Christians.
No one is immune to bad things. Even those who love God and try to follow Him have to deal with bad things in life: Angry people, bad traffic, sickness, theft, natural disasters, car problems, unwanted children, cancer, broken homes, fatal accidents, infertility, drunk drivers, suicidal thoughts and actions, hurtful words, domestic violence, spoiled food, broken relationships, accidental death, scarred lives, and shattered dreams.
Bad things suck.
C.S. Lewis, in A Grief Observed, wrote the following: Nothing will shake a man-or at any rate a man like me-out of his merely verbal thinking and his merely notional beliefs. He has to be knocked silly before he comes to his senses. Only torture will bring out the truth. Only under torture does he discover it himself.”
Honestly, I’m not sure I understand everything he’s trying to say in that quote or in his book, but I do agree that it often takes something terrible in our lives to remind of the reality of God and us.
God is God and I am not.
And neither are you.
I love Him and I know that He’s good.
Bad things still happen.
I still don’t get it.
But I know that He does.
That’s all I know.
*Photo courtesy of Alessio Lin of Unsplash