I joke often about the fact that I I feel like I have a case of childhood amnesia. I swear I draw a blank for most of the things that took place in my life as a child. But, there are random times that I do remember, and those things remain so clear and detailed in my mind. When I think about this particular moment, I am in awe of the detail the Lord includes and allows us to remember within the story He writes of our lives. The story He is writing even when we have no clue that He is.
In middle school English class I wrote in a poem,
“Why do bad things happen to good people?”
I stood at my teacher’s desk as she read my question outload, and responded with, “well, wouldn’t we all like to know the answer to that!”.
Reflecting back, I realize what depth that question carried, and what truth her answer revealed. The question I asked in middle school still stands as one of the most commonly asked questions people struggle with regarding faith in God.
The thing is, the closest we can get to having an answer to this question is–Once sin entered the world, so did free will. The fact that people have choices AND that there is a very real enemy working against us, with one sole mission to kill, steal, and destroy are the truths that bring us closest to a clear “why”.
Instead of focusing on the unknown, I prefer to focus on what I know to be true. The Bible is full of promises we can stand on. It’s also full of stories that reveal the true nature of our God.
Too often, instead of building relationship and trust in our Father, we try to answer or justify the unknowns within life by saying things like, “Everything happens for a reason”. But the thing is, it only takes one tragic event in one’s life before that statement seems kind of cruel. The intention behind it is to bring comfort or resolve to a circumstance, but given the right circumstance such as premature death, sickness, harm done to innocent children, and that saying just doesn’t mesh well.
We might as well classify our Father as an abusive, controlling type if we believe He would cause or allow tragedy and pain to happen to us for any reason.
But, here’s the good news! We do have answers! We do serve a God with a solid track record of making wrong things right. This is where our hope lies.
Once we really start learning the true nature of our Father, we are instead overwhelmed by His love for us. We learn that–
He grieves and weeps with us.
He is closest to the broken hearted.
He is our help in our time of trouble.
And one of my all-time favorite character traits of His is–
He is always working on our behalf to fix the wrong and make it right again.
He trades beauty for ashes.
In the last year or so, my family has experienced such pain, tragedy, and hardship.
I know what it’s like to be standing in ashes.
But, I also know that there’s no story that ends like that, IF we rely and put our faith and trust in Him.
For the Lord God is brighter than the brilliance of a sunrise!
Wrapping himself around me like a shield, he is so generous with his gifts of grace and glory. Those who walk along his paths with integrity will never lack one thing they need, for he provides it all. Psalm 84:11 (PTT)
We can rest assured that in our time of trouble, when the pain is so unbearable, He is writing a beautiful story. On the other side of the pain is the healing, mending, breakthrough, and beauty. Within my own story, I am already starting to see how the Lord is turning my tragedy into purpose.
The bible says that we can expect the Lord to redeem and restore. This means we can rest in the promises that the Lord is working on our behalf to give us a FULL, COMPLETE AND PERFECT COMPENSATION–Even more than double for our trouble. I believe it, I expect it, and I am already seeing it take place in my own life.
While we may not have all the answers for why bad things happen, we know they did not happen for any good reason. Even in the bad, we can find purpose instead of reason. The purpose is part of the beauty that the Lord forms from the ashes.
Now may God, the inspiration and fountain of hope, fill you to overflowing with uncontainable joy and perfect peace as you trust in him. And may the power of the Holy Spirit continually surround your life with his super-abundance until you radiate with hope!
Romans 15:13 (TPT)