Do you ever just feel like you are crumpling under the weight of the world? That there is so much on your shoulders that your legs are shaking, knees are bucking and it’s moments before you’ll be forced to collapse?
Yeah, me too.
We all come to this point for different reasons and at different seasons in our lives. Sometimes it’s a result of poor judgements and actions on our part, sometimes it’s out of our hands, sometimes it’s both, and sometimes it feels like we’ve been sent our own personal surprise tsunami. We’ve all seen that picture from a few years back of a lady standing in front of a MONSTROUS wave with her hands on her hips waiting for the crash. All I can say is #relatable.
As I and my super hero husband have been trying to navigate this crazy season of our lives, we’ve often times thrown our hands up in the air in frustration, confusion, weakness, surrender, anger, exhaustion…. you get the picture. Basically we hit the “why me?” phase HARD. And as followers of Christ and believers in His infinite atoning sacrifice, we couldn’t quite wrap our heads around how this much crazy and this much hurt was possible when He was supposed to love us so much and help us through our struggles and pains. Where is He in all of this? I’m doing what I’m supposed to, why isn’t this getting better?? Why do bad things happen to good people?
Why do bad things happen to good people? Or even, if why do good things happen to bad people?
I have asked myself these questions over and over and over (and over) for a while now. I’ve asked other people, I’ve asked my spouse, I’ve asked God. Here’s what I’ve come up with.
First, we don’t call the shots. As I do my best to explain why things happen the way they do, I admit that a big portion of the answer is that I just don’t know. Part of our experience here on earth is just not knowing sometimes (heck, probably most of the times!). And not knowing what is around the corner gives us lots of opportunities to grow, adapt, and get stronger when life throws us a curve ball. The plan that God has for each of us is personally tailored to us. He knows your highs and He knows your lows. He sent His Son to earth so that we could have someone who could not just know, but fully understand what each of our pains feel like. So while we don’t know the why of everything, we can take comfort that there is someone who does.
Second, you reap what you sow. Doing good will ALWAYS bring good. Even making good choices is hard, painful, or lonely, we will always be rewarded for righteous efforts. Our efforts might not be rewarded or recognized in the moment, and they might not ever be recognized in this life, but a loving and ever watchful God is aware of you and the awesome things you’re doing. He will not leave you abandoned and alone.
Third, sometimes nature just had to take its course. Scary diagnosis’s are made, natural disasters occur, once strong and able bodies fail us and so on. Sometimes, the most treacherous and painful parts of our journey here on earth can be attributed to these catastrophic moments. It is hard to say exactly why and how these things come into our life and I think a lot of it goes back to just not knowing. But I think it is partially because we, as imperfect people, live in an imperfect world. And without those imperfect moments, we wouldn’t know the perfect ones. Or even the good ones. In these imperfect moments we learn to be more grateful for the good ones, we learn to grow stronger, to adapt and to reach for hope.
Lastly, I am reminded of the mortal life of Jesus Christ. While He was on earth He lived a perfect life. He did all that the Father asked and was an exemplar for all who would ever live. But though He did all He could, and He did EVERYTHING right, He was spit upon, beaten, bruised, whipped, mocked, scorned and eventually crucified. A perfect man, the Son of God, was crucified not because of anything He had done, but because of the poor choices of those around Him. Christ suffered according to God’s plan so that we would not only have the opportunity to be cleansed of sin or to overcome death as He did, but so that we also might have someone to look to when we feel that no one else understands. He suffered, so we might not have to. How unfair is that?
Life can sometimes (usually) be unfair and relentless but with a loving Savior who understands our very pains and sadness we can still experience joy in our darkest moments.