Bad Things Happen to Good People
Did God do this to you to get your attention from living a reckless life of sin?
Recently, I gave a live testimony and one of the questions I had to answer was about my before Christ life. Fortunately, I don’t remember my life before Christ. I became a believer as a young child and I remember talking to God almost every single day.
I was given a head start in life, because I witnessed the faith of my mother. In good times she prayed. In hard times she prayed more. She walked by blind faith.
Does this mean I didn’t go through a selfish period? Of course not, but for most of my life I tried to live and love as God would want. At least, I think so. I failed many times. I sinned and repented. And I am forgiven. I certainly didn’t always read the Bible or attend church every Sunday.
But I praised and loved God. I knew He is the only true God and I knew that He sent His Son to pay the price for the many sins I have committed. And His Son is my King. I always tried my best to love others. There were many times I didn’t try hard enough.
The commandments were always the moral compass I used. Most certainly, I veered off course at times.
So, my life has not been perfect. However, I never intentionally lived a reckless life of sin. I wasn’t a prodigal.
I had a plan for my life. One that involved love, marriage and then children. You know, the small life American dream -- where you have a modest house that you make a home. You have good jobs, but live for the weekends. You enjoy family dinners and deep conversations served with a cup of coffee. There are soccer games, beach trips and proms – tons of celebrations.
Lots of joy – that’s what my plans were – living a joyful life.
Then you have those plans changed. Often times it is subtle things that sneak in to circumvent your plans and then there are those events that change your life in a matter of seconds.
So why did God need to get my attention when I wasn’t living a reckless life of sin?
I had a hard time digesting this question and forming an acceptable answer, so I sought wisdom from a Godly friend. One who has intimate knowledge of my story. She knows all about the time when God wrecked my plans.
Her first response was, sometimes bad things happen to good people.
I’ve heard this more than once and I am sure you have too. This statement makes you feel uncomfortable, because you know it is true. I would beg to change the “sometimes” to “all of the time.” She was certainly speaking from experience. She is a good, good person and yet bad things have repeatedly popped into her timeline.
So yeah, I get this. As followers of Christ, we are guaranteed a life of tribulation (John 16:33).
My friend continued: this was all part of His will for your life, and it’s okay.
His Will, His Way. This was a strenuous lesson for me to learn, because it involved letting go. Well, letting go of your plan, a plan that you deem good – is no easy feat. So, I love how she simply said and it’s okay.
We don’t always like His plans, especially when they involve hard things. And guess what? That is okay! I always tell people, it’s hard to consider a trial pure joy until it’s over (James 1:2).
When is the end? When does the trial dissipate into some distant memory? Sometimes I ask this very question to others and certainly to God. Some trials don’t seem to have a definitive end.
I often view the trial as controllable once you let go of control. At this point you have given permission for Christ to substitute His strength for your weaknesses. Does this mean it’s over?
It just means you can do anything now that you have the strength of Christ within you (Philippians 4:13). Sometimes the only thing you can do at the time is to endure. And He will provide the power to do just that.
Victory will come. Looking back, I can now see the victories before my life was restored. The win is the closeness you now have with the King. And oftentimes, the closeness is most evident in the dark – where His light shines brightest.
My friend likes happy endings (as do I), so she concluded her thoughts with: He used this experience to draw you in and boy has He!
So, whatever you are going through seek the One who hugs you tight as you sit in the dark. He will breathe life in your lungs, so you may never grow too cold, lonely, or weary while you endure.