Friday, September 12, 2008
Yesterday was the 7th anniversary of 9/11. It was an emotional day for many people. Most Americans can remember where they were and what they were doing when they heard the awful news that airplanes had crashed into the World Trade Center. I was at work when Gina called me to tell me what she was seeing on TV. I turned my radio on, and listened all day as the news reports came in. I think that most people wonder why God allowed something so terrible to happen.
Yesterday, I didn't think about that horrible day until I first wrote out the date. We never refer to that day as September 11, it is always 9/11. What struck me about yesterday was not so much remembering 9/11, as how many times someone talked to me about bad news in their life.
Wednesday evening we got a call from Adam and Felicia who live in San Pedro, Belize. Felicia has been very sick, and the local doctors have not been able to find out what is wrong. Yesterday they were traveling to Chetumal, Mexico to see a doctor there. Felicia is very frightened. She has been too sick to work, so has lost her job. The loss of income has put them in a financial bind. Gina prayed with Felicia over the phone. We hope to hear from them soon to find out what the doctor in Mexico said.
Yesterday my Fed-Ex driver shared with me the situation that his family is going through. Wednesday evening his brother in law was involved in a fatal one vehicle accident. He left behind a wife and 2 children. Now the wife is going to have to find a way to make a living and support herself and her children.
A small business owner that I deal with called me yesterday to let me know that he had to take a couple of days off to go to Little Rock for tests. His heart is giving him problems, and the doctors are talking about bypass surgery. His business is operated by just his wife and himself. He is afraid that he will lose his business.
A friend stopped by my shop to visit. He has gotten himself into some financial trouble. He had a signed contract on his house, and on the strength of that contract started building a new house. The contract fell through at the last minute, and now he fears that he will lose his house if he can't sell it soon.
All of these individuals are good Christian people. Why does God allow these things to happen. I think that is one of the biggest questions in Christianity.
There are many events that have caused people to ask, "why". I don't have the answers as to why so many tragedies happen. I do know that ever since sin came into this world through Satan there have been terrible tragedies. I suppose that Adam and Eve asked "why" when Cain killed his brother Abel.
The only promise that a Christian has in this life is that there will be trouble. Our trouble free existence will be in Heaven where God will wipe away all tears.
When a tragedy happens, God says ask your questions, but don't stop there. God has given a much greater opportunity. God challenges us to turn to Him for answers. God challenges us to argue with Him. God challenges us to trust Him explicitly.
Bad things happen in this world, to good people, and to bad people, although it seems like the good people get the worst. Murphy's law seems to be all too true. Why do bad things happen to good people? More specifically, why do bad things happen to me? God rarely answers that question. He would pour out only goodness on us all the
time, if He could, but because we live in a sinful world, He can't. Men have free will, and God will not override it.
Why do bad things happen to good people? Because we live in a sinful world. I know that's not the kind of answer we like, but there is no better answer available.
Once you have learned this and deepened your faith that God has everything under control, then maybe there is a better way to approach the bad things that happen. Don't ask "Why Me, Lord?" when something bad happens. Ask God how He wants you to respond, and then leave the consequences in His hands.
It is all in the response. God can always bring good out of bad, but He needs us to cooperate with Him to bring out the greatest good. This is why Paul can say "Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice." Rejoice when good things happen, rejoice when bad things happen, because we can trust God to do what is for our