Bad stuff happens in our lives. Death, illness, miscarriage, infertility, and a host of other bad things that we had nothing to do with. Some bad stuff happens because we made bad choices. Like if you have an alcohol problem and you get a DUI and your license gets taken away. God didn’t cause that to happen, that is the result of a poor choice in your life. But there are a lot of bad things that happen to people that have nothing to do with choices they have made. Like someone getting a terminal illness. It just happened and had nothing to do with poor choices. So when those bad things come in life, and they will come, how can we trust God? Isn’t God supposed to be loving and kind? How could he let those bad things happen to people? I have asked this question a lot in my life, as I know most people have. There are very few people on the earth who have never experienced something bad happening in their life. I’m not talking about the little bad things like loosing a great parking space at the mall, I’m talking about life altering bad stuff. Most of us have experienced something that changed our life.
My first experience was at 6 years old when my parents divorced. That was a bad thing. I blamed myself for a while, but then my parents and those around me were good to remind me it had nothing to do with me. I had not caused that. If you are going through something bad right now, please don’t lay blame on yourself, if it wasn’t something you could control. It’s not your fault. So, if my parents divorce wasn’t my fault then why did God allow me to go through that? Did God cause that divorce to happen in my life?
I have wrestled with this question of whether God causes bad stuff to happen and I have studied the Bible about this topic I have come to the conclusion that God is good and therefore cannot cause bad things to happen. In fact, he never intended for bad stuff to happen to anyone on earth. He made the world perfect, but sin came into the world and messed that up. I think bad things happen because of sin and Satan. You can see this in the book of Job when Satan asks God for permission to inflict some pain on Job. So, if God doesn’t cause the bad stuff to happen why does he allow it, like we see in Job? I can’t answer that fully, because I am not God, but I think in my own life that God allows bad stuff to happen to me because he is working some larger plan in my life.
I experienced two miscarriages a few years ago and they were one of the most painful experiences of my life. I questioned a lot as I went through that time period. I was angry and sad and wondered how I could trust God if he was going to allow such painful stuff to happen in my life. As time went on, I realized a few things during that painful period of my life.
I was no longer the same person as I had been before I lost my precious babies. I realized that I had no control over my life and what happens in it, for the most part. I cannot control whether my kids get an illness or some other tragic thing. I could not control whether I miscarried my babies or not. I could not keep them safe, even though I wanted to so badly, that was in God’s hands alone. It made me angry initially to give up the control I had assumed I had in my life. But when I did, I realized that it was better that way. By giving up control and realizing I could not make some things happen in my life, I gave up the blame and guilt I had put on myself for somehow being responsible for the outcome of my pregnancies. Whether my children live or die, it is not in my hands, it is in God’s hands. Once you realize how incapable you are of really protecting your kids and keeping bad stuff from happening it is freeing to give that over to God.
The second thing I realized was that God was working something in me through that pain. God never allows you to go through something hard for no reason. He always has a plan. In my miscarriages, he was working in me a deeper walk with him. I had to cling to him because there was no way I could survive that pain on my own. He also showed me what really matters. When you go through something hard like that the trivial stuff in life just fades away and you are left with the important stuff. I think I took my kids for granted before my losses. I don’t anymore. My relationships with my family and friends are the most important things in life. It’s not money, or stuff, it’s people. And the stuff I thought was so important and that I spent a great deal of time worrying about, no longer mattered. You see through the glass clearly when you go through hard times. And that is what ultimately led us to our adoptions.
I would not change that time in my life, nor would I change my parents divorce or the hard year we have had after the adoption of our daughter. God is working something in me in each of those situations. It is in those hardest times, I have grown the most. You get down to brass tacks and really understand the heart of God and what is important. No one ever wants to go through hard times, and I am the first to kick against it when I do, but I would not change what comes out of the those times. If you are going through something right now, please know God has not left. He is right there. He is walking with you through this. It did not surprise Him and He has a plan. It’s something greater than you can imagine.