Monday, June 2, 2008

Why Bad Things Happen

This was the sermon topic in church yesterday. I thought I'd share a few points the pastor made since it is perhaps the toughest question we have as human beings. His first point was that - it's a fair question. Don't let anyone tell you that you have no faith just for asking it. Even Jesus asked God why He had forsaken him on the cross. Second - we just don't know. It may be a question we never know the answer to. I think it makes us trust God even more because we have to believe He knows what He's doing. Third - there is goodness. Newscasts and papers announce to us everyday the horrors of earthquakes, the evil of crime, the sadness of misfortunes, but there is goodness too. We have all experienced that as well.

Harold Kushner writes, " I think suffering happens and then, we have the immense, incredible power of conferring meaning on that suffering. We can either make it a cause for despair or cynicism, or we can make it the source of renewed insight and compassion. The experience of tragedy can lead us to self-hate or to a sense of fraternity with suffering people everywhere. This is our point of decision and it is a decision only we can make. We can't decide whether tragedy will happen to us. We can only decide how we will respond to it when it happens."

I posted a photo of my hibiscus plants. They have been lush and beautiful in the past. This winter - not so much. Now they sit on my side deck trying to adjust to warmth and sunlight. They usually lose leaves, but I've never seen them this bad. Yet admidst their suffering and neglect they have both decided to bloom (where they're planted of course.)

Lastly, my blogging friend, Cheryl left a comment on the previous post about my pathetic hair. She noticed in my profile all the things I have been given to do in this life and her comment was - hair is minor in the scheme of things, right? You are SO right, Cheryl.


Anonymous said...

ah, there's something about acknowledging a bad hair day that makes everything seem alright, though.

Kelly Jene said...

Hey there! I think when it comes to bad things happening, we won't know until we're in heaven. Maybe then we'll know. But God is mysterious and maybe it's better that way. There is no blame available, just the need to take things as they come.

Bad hair days stink, that's for sure.

Kathiesbirds said...

Diane, thanks for visiting my blog last week. I see from your profile that you have read Plainsong. So have I. It's a good read. Did you read Eventide also? I like poetry as well and have a poetry blog called Kathie's Poet Tree. I like what you have to say about goodness. There is so much horror in the world, but goodness is there too, along with beauty. I don't think we should despair as long as beauty, goodness and love exist.

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

I remember having a similar thought shortly after 9/11. Remember how everyone kept saying the world would never be the same, and for a while, we were all expecting new attacks everyday. Well, it was fall and I was out planting bulbs in my garden. And I suddenly looked up at the sky and thought, "No matter what they do, they can't take beauty away from us."

Yes, there is goodness too.

And I love the symbolism of your hibiscus blooming.

Anonymous said...

I always remember the following points when it comes to bad things;

1. The majority of Mankind in general reject God's wise principles & as a result bad things happening are often the consequences of bad choices & actions.
(Romans 3:23)For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

2. The Devil's influence over the world of mankind. Jesus referred to him as the ruler of the world.
(John 14:30)I shall not speak much with you anymore, for the ruler of the world is coming. And he has no hold on me.

4. Often it's just a case of things happening for NO REASON. There doesn't always have to be a reason. Sometimes it's just a case of unfortunately being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
(Ecclesiastes 9:11) . . .because time and unforeseen occurrence befall them all.

It really annoys me when God so often gets the blame. Even common statements such as "All things happen according to His purpose" really lay the blame at God's feet as though EVERYTHING is His will.
(James 1:13) When under trial, let no one say: “I am being tried by God.” For with evil things God cannot be tried nor does he himself try anyone.

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