My son wrote the following the other day, in response to these trials ....
I'm very thankful that he/she remain close to our Lord.
I'm not sure if any of you are reading this, I hope so, and I hope it blesses you as much as it blessed me/others in our lives.
"Making sense of it all, during a sustained season of grief and loss..."
Many of you know by now that my wife and I recently experienced our second miscarriage. The last few weeks have presented me with horrific images and questions that will burn in my mind for quite some time, if not indefinitely. I now understand why my good friend, who has been through this very thing more times than us, has referred to the pregnancy center as a place of terror. Our faith is not the same as it was yesterday. No genuine faith should be. That same friend taught me that genuine faith does not let circumstance dictate joy, and genuine faith continues to grow with each moment. So our faith is not the same as it once was. It is stronger. Complicated. Frustrating at times. And yet, stronger. This must be what it is like for an athlete to study the game and then actually put what they know to practice. Reading about the Lord and putting that knowledge to the practical test are so very different. The following thoughts are an attempt to express what we still believe: that God is good, even in the midst of pain. They are also meant to reach out to a broken world that typically remains silent on such issues. We cannot erase your pain for you and promise an easy out from here on. We can, however, bear your burden with you, if this same thing has happened in your home...
Why do bad things happen to good people?
This very question viciously circles the globe, making even a broken record appear shy and introverted. It is a legitimate question, worthy of our attention, but before we go one step further, I must note that the way in which we phrase the question is peculiar. Our karma worshipping generation has no problem with bad things happening to people we don't like. Entire TV series are available to us, for our entertainment, that feature criminals getting caught and paying for it. This is called justice (keep that in mind for later).
The question I think we really mean to ask is, "Why do bad things happen to people I like and/or me?" Have we ever stopped to question our question? Why don't we rejoice at the disastrous events that encompass our friends and family if this is just karma making things right again? Why help the poor, sick, and homeless? Aren't they just getting what they deserve? But we help anyway, even when we don't get anything in return or don't feel the person has necessarily earned it. Why? Because we understand grace.
So why do we understand grace? Because the eternal, mindless, thoughtless, unsympathetic and uncreated universe just so happened to spew out a few sentient beings that are incapable of taking any roots in their origins after all? Or is our comprehension of grace better rooted in Christ? Your religious affiliation aside, if we are to take the initial question ("why do bad things happen to good people?") seriously, we must seriously consider the historical narrative of Jesus, which tells us that one of the most atrocious acts known to mankind (crucifixion) was carried out gleefully, at the expense of this completely innocent man's life!
The first part of the answer is one nobody wants to hear: Good people are a myth! Each of us admits (or defends) our errors and inability to live up to even the world's standard, almost every day, if we are honest. How much greater should we understand God's standard to be? How close are we, really, to perfection? Why can't God just lower the standard a bit and let us slide into Heaven, free from all this pain? Remember that pesky fella called justice? Yeah...that. And this builds into the second half of the answer:
We have all sinned and fallen short of God's glory. Are there consequences for sin? Absolutely. Is every bad thing that happens to you a direct punishment for some previous sin you committed? No, no, and again, no! But the ultimate consequence of sin is that we have, naturally, separated from the perfect God. And when you separate from the life giver, naturally, you are faced with death. Anybody who disagrees might go interrogate the branch in their front yard that fell off the apple tree this morning. Try to convince the branch that it is still alive and may also produce fruit by trying really hard! Oh, the good works gospel is no good news at all...
If we really got our wish for all the bad and evil to be vanquished from the earth, tonight at midnight, whom of us would remain at 12:01am tomorrow? God cannot overlook our errs and remain a just God. A loving God also could not idly watch as we destroy ourselves. Christ died on the cross for all sin, including yours. That cross is the very place in history where perfect justice and perfect love met once and for all. Maybe you think you have out-sinned God's grace. Read the New Testament some time, and keep your eyes peeled for a dude named Saul. If we embrace Jesus as Lord and Savior, we can be forgiven. Anything else is a dead branch in denial, desiring to seek fulfillment of purpose without the capacity to do any such thing.
In closing, if the eternally sinless One willingly suffered on the cross for me, who am I to complain when the one thing I don't deserve is... anything good? Ever notice that nobody gripes when they hear we can go to Heaven? "But it's not fair God...why me?!" Yes. Why us? Because you are loved more than you know.
There is a time for grief. Make no mistake... I mourn the loss of our children with every waking minute. But there still reigns a Good and Perfect King. The time to realize that is now, with each and every breath.