Why Do Bad Things Happen To Good People?

I went out to breakfast with a friend recently who is going though several personal crisis all at the same time. As I listened I wondered why these things were happening to a person who gives so much to others. Like the bumper sticker reads, “stuff” happens. Intellectually I can understand why many of us wind up in the middle of a storm of life, but this doesn’t make it any easier. There have been times I have been in a personal crisis and didn’t think it would ever end. But it did end and I did come out. Be encouraged, even big storms will pass. But we may need to clean up the debris left behind.

Having spent most of my adult life studying weather and predicting storms I have to admit I am a weather nerd. I am paying quite a bit of attention to Hurricane Florence bearing down on the Carolina’s. I have predicted and covered flooding rains, snowstorms, flown through the eye of a hurricane and chased tornadoes. I even caught one. As I watched the TV coverage of storm preps I was reminded that storms in life are often similar to those that begin in some far off place in the sea.

Some storms are fast movers, small and just blow through life. We handle them the best we can and life continues. Other storms, regardless of size, lumber along. They affect our life and often the lives of those we love over an extended period. It seems like it takes all the strength we have to keep our noses above water. These storms can just wear you down. Some storms are huge and we can see them coming like the hurricane. But sometimes we don’t prepare or we ignore the warning signs. Just like dysfunction in life, a big storm may hit, a calm time may follow but then there is a return to devastation. Why do these bad things happen to such good people and how do we help them? My good intentions in the past have led me to say things like “God has a plan”. But this may have come off as simply a chilly response to a serious challenge. Maybe all the person needs is friend, a shoulder to cry on. There may be times when I don’t know what to say. This isn’t just a guy thing is it? This too is okay, don’t say anything. Reassure friends who are hurting, accept their feelings and let them know you love them and God loves them. Give your hurting friend the gift of being present. Most important, let them know that you are prepared to weather the storm and journey with them no matter what the complications. You may need their shoulder someday.

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