Why Do Bad Things Happen?
My daughter sent a text asking me to pray. Her friend’s little one, only two, diagnosed with leukemia. Only two.
As soon as I read the text, I knew. I knew that this precious momma and this young family, this hurting dad, will have to deal with the same question that’s been asked times without number—
Why? How can a “good God” do this? How can an all powerful God allow a little one to suffer this way? Where is God in all of this?
As I hear of another suicide bombing, more lives taken needlessly, as I pore over prayer requests that never cease coming in: a wife abandoned after more than four decades of marriage, a mom grieving over her drug-addicted son, a friend’s mother lying in a hospital bed—possibly hours from death . . . my heart can be overwhelmed by the suffering. The darkness can threaten to snuff out hope . . . if it were not for this:
This is the passage I’ve adopted as my focus for the year. I write it out at the top of my journal page each morning. And as I form the same letters each day, scratching out the now familiar words on paper in the pre-dawn hours, I’m reminded again: This is not my home. This is not what I’m living for. This is the place of groaning and suffering.
This is not my home.
Why do bad things happen? The answer is simple; the living of it is not.
Bad things happen because we are still trapped in the groaning. For those who are “in Christ” we have a heavenly position, an eternal hope, and a future glory—we’ve been set free and given victory over death. But today our bodies are still stuck in this “wasting away.” Our hearts are still tied to the “seen.” And the “seen” is filled with the pain and consequences of a rotting world. A world invaded by death when sin entered its realm.
This is not my home.
We are all groaning under a weight we were never made to bear. We are living in foreign territory. We are strangers here in this world of sorrow and corruption.
We are all hurting, groaning, decaying, due to our precipitous fall; our disrobing of glory; our entrance into the death journey. Infection invades healthy bodies. Cancer takes those we love most. Infidelity breaks the most sacred of vows. Hurting people hurt others—thus a continual cycle of hurt.
But that is NOT the end of the story. If this is all there is, then we are to be most pitied. If there is no purpose in the pain, then we might as well give up.
But there is purpose and there is more.
Pain and suffering do not last forever. Death does not have the last word.
For those of us who are “in Christ” we are no longer under the condemnation of the death sentence. This life is the temporary before we move into the eternal life that completely releases us from death. Because Jesus came to do battle with death—and He put death to death through death!
My only answer to the “Why?” question is to respond with a “Why?” question.
Why did God rescue us when we didn’t deserve rescue?
Why did God send His only Son, Jesus Christ, to endure an inhumane and brutal death to conquer death?
Why did God provide a way—The only Way—out of the groaning?
For love. As I watch the loved one dying, or walk with a friend through the horrors of terminal illness, or hear another story of betrayal, I know that this is not the end of the story. Love has provided the way of escape from the realm of groaning. Love has provided life from death. Love poured out on the cross has put to death—death.
And that is the solution when bad things happen. One day—how I long for that day—there will be no more days of “bad things” for those who are “in Christ.”
Are you “in Christ”?
Image courtesy of www.freedigitalphotos.net/David Castillo Dominiciread more
Welcome! I’m glad you’re spending a few moments with me here. It is astounding to think that in this small corner of the blogger world, women from across the globe can experience the adventure of growing together in Christ. I never planned to grow up and be a blogger but writing blogs allows me to disciple more women than I would ever have opportunity to actually meet.
My reason for writing is that I have to. This driving impulse to communicate God’s reality and goodness to others is like a burning fire. Because of who He is, the desire for others to know and love Him consumes me. He is my passion and I don’t want to waste a single day, but cram each moment full of living all out for His glory. I long for the day when all will know that He alone is God.
Kimberly Wagner is married to her favorite pastor, LeRoy Wagner. Their children include Caleb and his wife Lindsey; Rachel and her husband Adam, and their daughter Teagan.
Kim’s passion is Christ, and she desires to ignite women’s pursuit of God’s glory. She is a frequent guest on the Revive Our Hearts radio program, as well as a regular contributor to the True Woman blog and the Beyond BathTime blog. Kim has written several devotionals and resource materials for women and loves encouraging women to become students of the Word.
A dream was realized when I attended the first True Woman Conference in 2008. I’ll never forget looking around at thousands of women, freely worshipping God together, embracing their calling as women, and thinking, He’s doing it, He is birthing this movement!
In the late 1990s my friend, Nancy Leigh DeMoss, gave me two books that made a significant impact on my life. True Woman by Susan Hunt and The Feminist Gospel (later revised and entitled The Feminist Mistake) by Mary Kassian. My eyes were opened to how the feminist philosophy has permeated our culture and what a loss we’ve experienced as a result.Read more