By: Staci Stallings
Last week I got two of “those” phone calls. You know, the ones with not just bad news but REALLY BAD NEWS. Both pieces of really bad news had happened to the loved ones of relatives, not to my immediate family, but both were so severe, I would think about the BAD NEWS every few minutes.
I remember when I was much younger, there was a book that came out called, “When Bad Things Happen to Good People.” I never read the book, but I remember the title. Because I never read it, I can’t tell you what conclusion the author came to. But over the course of the last five years, here’s what I’ve learned… bad things happen to good people because bad things happen.
Bad things don’t single anyone out. You could be the Pope and bad things would happen.
It has nothing to do with your goodness or your badness. This life is simply not designed to be good to you and certainly not good all the time. We get ill. We have a minor fender-bender. We have a bad hair day. These are the little bad things that happen to all of us.
But the real truth is that the big bad things happen to all of us too. And if they haven’t happened to you yet, say a prayer of thanks and then one of protection because they are surely coming.
Think about it. If you know 100 people, what are the chances that when you die all of those 100 are still living? What if you know 1,000 people? 10,000?
You might think 10,000 is out of the range of possibility, but they have calculated that the average person in the United States will know around 10,000 people in their lifetime. That’s a lot of chances for something bad to happen!
I remember after my brother-in-law died, my nephew who had been through the death of two uncles said, “Why do these bad things only happen to us?”
They don’t. Sadly, they don’t.
Bad things and sometimes really bad things happen in this life. A major car wreck. A sudden illness that sweeps in and takes a life. A long illness that is battled sometimes for years before death arrives. Fires. Floods. Hurricanes. Tornadoes.
And none of us are immune from them. I don’t care if you go to church every Sunday, sing in the choir, and bring casseroles to the sick. Bad things are going to happen along the way. Our good deeds do not give us a pass from bad things happening–anymore than they will get us into Heaven.
So, what then? What’s the point of doing good, of staying with God, of being a good person?
It’s not to get you into some cosmic “good club” that keeps you from bad things happening. The point is two-fold. #1 We learn to cling evermore to God in times of tragedy and strife on this earth. #2 We learn to bring His light into the darkness that is this world.
Think about it… if there was no darkness, what need would God have had to say, “Let there be light”? Bad things are the darkness, and it’s still here. And it still requires God to send the light–His light into it. Thus, He sent us into the darkness to be His light. That means we are going to encounter the darkness.
People who don’t understand God. People who need God. People who do not necessarily want the light anywhere around, and yes, times of great tragedy and sorrow.
Bad things happen. When they do, God says once again through us, “Let there be Light.”
Ben Warren has life all figured out. At 35, he’s successful in his work and free as a bird everywhere else. He has no desire to be tied down like some of his friends, and he sees no reason to change that. Then the unthinkable happens and causes him to rethink everything about everything.
Kathryn Walker can’t figure out what she’s doing wrong in the dating department. The rest of her life makes sense. She’s compassionate, strong, honest, hard-working and still alone. She wonders if she is doomed to spend forever single. Little does she know that fate is taking a major turn in her life. In fact, she doesn’t even see it happening until it has. Can she ever get past the fact that Mr. Right didn’t show up in the way she thought he would?