Why bad things happen to good people

Why bad things happen to good people

To Aurora, Colo., survivors
I want to sincerely express my condolences to all who were impacted by the recent theater shooting in Aurora, Colo. I’m also a moviegoer and can’t imagine the trauma you had to endure. I’m praying for your healing as you move through this nightmare.

Why did this have to happen?
For years I have tried to explain this concept with very little success. However, most recently, I’ve had several epiphanies and now I can better explain why bad things happen to good people.

It’s not an easy pill to swallow but given my own experience I now get it. It also helps that an entire TV show is completely dedicated to it. So here’s my take.

This didn’t have to happen.

The problem
So there was this couple in a gorgeous, perfect garden. They had it all. Free food, shelter and clothing was optional because there was nothing to be ashamed of. They were in communion with their Creator who loved them more than any of his other creations.

Of course, as any loving Creator would do, he set Divine boundaries for their safety, protection. They were free to do as they pleased as long as they stayed within the safety and care of their Creator. If they chose to step out of bounds there would be deadly consequences.

He set a table for them that had life and death on it. He suggested they choose life. What’s important here is He let them decide.

As in all gardens there were pests and other life abounding. One day, one of these pests, a serpent, persuaded one of the created to test only one of the rules. The serpent planted his own seed, i.e., sin, in the mind of the created and watered it with doubt. The seed grew. It was being cultivated with truth wrapped tightly with lies. Eventually it grew into rebellion that resulted in testing the Creator.

The Creator told them if they ate of or even touched a particular tree they would die. The lie they believed was that they would not die and they would be more like their Creator. One grabbed some fruit took a bite and didn’t die. They offered some to the other created and they didn’t die either. Both were amazed that nothing happened.

Like any good parent, the Creator had to allow them to suffer the consequences of their poor choices.

Sin sucks for the rest of us
God gave us free will so that we would choose a relationship with him freely. However and unfortunately there are those who have chosen death aka, a sin lifestyle. These are the people who get it twisted and believe the truth that is completely unrecognizable because it has been wrapped like a gift with lies.

Sin brings on the ugly. Sin forces those who want to choose life to dodge sin’s deadly bullets. Pun intended.

Breaking Bad
I am hooked on a TV show, Breaking Bad, which is the penultimate explanation for why bad things happen to good people.

Briefly, it’s about a high school chemistry teacher, Walt, who contracts cancer. Concerned for the financial security of his family long after he dies he agrees to help one of his former students make a nearly pure form of crystal meth.

This is where the slippery slope begins. The initial sin is agreeing to break the law. The lie is that breaking the law will benefit his family financially. Walt eventually admits he has made a series of very bad Breakingdecisions.

Bad choice #1
As a direct result of his bad decisions, aka, sin, the following bad thing happened to good and completely innocent people:

Walt chooses to watch rather than save the life of a choking girl. The father has been fighting for the life of his meth addict daughter for years. Now he is ruined when he learns of her death. He is an air traffic controller.

After a period of extended bereavement, he prematurely returns to work. Thoughts of his daughter still consuming his mind, he tries his best to pay attention to air traffic on his radar screen to no avail. Two passenger planes collide mid-air killing all passengers and crew.

Had Walt never agreed to make crystal meth in the first place none of this would have happened.

Bad choice #2
Sept. 11, 2001, was the darkest of days for America. Our freedoms and lifestyle were under attack by a radical sect of Muslims who believed they were justified in their attempt to bring America to its knees and hopefully destruction.

Thousands of innocent, God-fearing people died that day doing what was expected of them. They were not sinning yet one man’s sin, i.e., Osama bin Laden’s sins of pride, arrogance and hate, several men were persuaded to sacrifice their lives and kill innocent people.

Bad choice #3
Jerry Sandusky, former Penn State football coach and convicted serial pedophile, went for years unchecked despite several warning signs because he was within a circle of denial. Yes, Joe Paterno filed a report but willful disregard for the safety of those children, zero follow-up and follow-through, and a greater desire to win football games ensured those boys would continue to be sexually assaulted. The sin is pride aggravated by indifference.

Bad choice #4
We all know that smoking cigars and cigarettes causes cancer yet millions around the world smoke anyway despite clearly labeled warnings. So why are people surprised when they get lung cancer, emphysema, esophagus cancer or any other related disease? Weren’t they warned?

Yes but they chose to tempt fate anyway because just like our couple, they didn’t heed the warning. They believed a lie. They believed smoking calms their nerves, soothes their soul.

The sin? Pride, arrogance. They believe on some level they know best. When they get the diagnosis, they turn around and attempt to sue the tobacco company for damages when the tobacco company gave them plenty of warning on all of their ads and directly on the packaging.

This sin is further exacerbated by the fact that despite clinically proven negative public health consequences, tobacco companies continue to market and sell their products. Their sin? Greed.

Bad choice #5
Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were two students who murdered 12 fellow students and one teacher in cold blood. Their sin was the evil that resided in their heart.
Further, their parents chose not to train their children in the way they should go. They ignored their God-given responsibilities to raise their children in the house of the Lord where they could have been mentored and more involved in activities that teach them how precious life is, how much God loves them and how good it is to sit at Jesus’ feet.
We are called to love one another. Harris and Klebold hated others so much they decided to kill, another sin taken directly from the Ten Commandments. Other innocent, wonderful students were being obedient by going to school. Two kids chose death and a massacre was the result.
Bad choice #6
James Holmes, a Ph.D. candidate, was failing in his studies and considered a mediocre student by a fellow researcher who Holmes considered a mentor, according to CBS news. So far relatively sin free.
Rather than either step back from school for a period of time, or regroup and make a second attempt at completing his studies with excellence, he chose to be destructive and murder. Within the confines of his mind brewed sinful behavior and bad choices.
Obviously, Holmes had no hope. He wanted everyone to feel his pain. Then last Thursday night, after rigging his apartment with explosives because he knew he wasn’t returning, he massacred innocent people at an Aurora, CO, movie theatre.
The solution is not stricter gun laws. The solution is Jesus Christ, the hope of Glory.

Where is God?
He’s right there. His heart breaks when he sees the results of poor choices.

Going back to the parenting analogy, when our children become adults we must let them go and experience this world on life’s terms. Even as children, there are times we have to allow them experience firsthand the consequences of their choices whether good, bad or indifferent.

We can’t choose for our adult children any longer. We must trust that everything we have poured into them when they were children will help them make healthy, life-giving, life-affirming, adult choices. It is imperative for us parents to give our adult children the dignity to choose.
This week, my teen-aged son had to prove he was proficient putting up a tarp tent before his Yosemite backpacking trip or he was not going. I sat in my car for over two hours as he was struggling to demonstrate his proficiency. I told him he could opt for the two-person tent instead since he knew how to set it up but he couldn’t. He and his tent buddy agreed on tarp tents. He had to pass.
I sat in my car frustrated out of my mind, seething. There was absolutely nothing I could do to help my son. For him, this was a tipping point. He had to stand and deliver, and I had to get out of the way. He opted not to practice this technique at home and the consequences were that he might not be allowed on this trip.We grow closer to God when we learn from our experiences. The hope is we share this hope with others.

Where is the hope?
In each of my examples you will find a dearth of hope. What is hope? Merriam-Webster defines hope as “to cherish a desire with anticipation, expectation of attainment, confidence.”
America was founded on Judeo-Christian principles. The congressional records indicate that prayer led by a Christian chaplain took place regularly as our founding fathers were formulating the foundation of a new nation. They were building upon the Chief Cornerstone, Jesus Christ.
They specifically mention in the Declaration of Independence that there are certain “unalienable rights endowed by our Creator,” a direct reference to Jesus Christ and his father God.
What if …
What if any of those people mentioned in my examples knew Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior? What if they regularly prayed, fellowshipped with other Christians, assisted with the work of the church, were mentored by and accountable to Christian peers?
What if there were still prayer in schools? God heard and answered the prayers of millions of children in America and gave this nation favor, protection and strength. Now there are no prayers going up; therefore, no favor, protection and strength.
What if all sporting events started out with a brief prayer asking for the protection of players and good sportsmanship?
What if everyone answered the call of Jesus to come and confess their sins and the need for a Savior? What if everyone bent their knees and confessed that Jesus Christ is Lord of lords, King of kings, their Creator?
My hope is in my Creator
My hope is NOT in President Barack Obama. My hope is in Jesus. Day in and day out I ask him to show me His ways and teach me His paths. I thank him regularly for every little thing. His Psalms say, “guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior and my hope is in you all day long.”
He is the lamp onto my feet and light unto my path. He leads me beside still waters and makes me rest in Him in green pastures.
When I pray I am more alive. I expect Him to provide on a regular basis and he does. He faithfully has made ways out of no way. Yes, he has taken things from me but I see in hindsight that it was the right thing to do even though the separation was extremely painful in some cases.
So the next time you hear about an injustice think, “What sin was it that lead to that situation?” The paycheck of sin is death if you don’t have a Savior.
Sin is our natural state but you have the power to change it. Believe in your heart and confess with your tongue that Jesus Christ is Lord. Invite Him into your heart with gladness. Talk with a local church pastor about your decision for Christ. We need you. We need each other. Find out how to get plugged into your local church community. Let your journey begin.He loves you. He made you. YOU are His favorite, beloved.

May God bless and keep you.

ABOUT BORICUA CONFIDENTIAL©™
Boricua Confidential chronicles my new life as a single mom of two kids after my husband died from cancer on our son’s seventh birthday. Join me on this journey of change, revival, reformation, discovery and new direction ordered of God. Being a widow ain’t easy, that’s for sure. I refuse to rollover and die. Quite the contrary. I intend to thrive from this crazy life. You can’t keep this woman down. If I’m down, I won’t be for long.

God created me to bounce back. Watch me.

16 Comments

  1. Pam, you hit the nail on the hand. Well said. God answers knee mail. I’ll join you because He said wherever two or three are gathered in His name, He is there. Whatever we ask, he will grant. I’m counting on Him to follow through on His promises.

  2. Pam, you hit the nail on the hand. Well said. God answers knee mail. I’ll join you because He said wherever two or three are gathered in His name, He is there. Whatever we ask, he will grant. I’m counting on Him to follow through on His promises.

  3. Eli, I know what you mean. What ails our society is being mainstreamed as the norm. People need to know their worth in Christ. It’s a shame that people don’t have that sense of identity in Christ. I’m sure the founding fathers would have heart attacks if they knew what was going on in the nation they founded.

  4. This is a great post! There is so many things happening in the world right now, that I know God is thinking what is going on, but peoples minds are being taking over by the enemy because he want to kill, steal and destroy Gods people, all I can do is pray for God’s will to be done!

  5. This is a great post! There is so many things happening in the world right now, that I know God is thinking what is going on, but peoples minds are being taking over by the enemy because he want to kill, steal and destroy Gods people, all I can do is pray for God’s will to be done!

  6. This is an amazing write-about, with amazing information, that sounds like it was written by an amazing person (who from the bio you see has had more than her fair share of trouble in life, but is still trusting in God). Thank you for the share.

    1. I thoroughly enjoyed writing this post. I’d been thinking about writing it for quite a while then Aurora, Colo., happened. It was time to post it. Thanks so much for your feedback.

  7. This is an amazing write-about, with amazing information, that sounds like it was written by an amazing person (who from the bio you see has had more than her fair share of trouble in life, but is still trusting in God). Thank you for the share.

    1. I thoroughly enjoyed writing this post. I’d been thinking about writing it for quite a while then Aurora, Colo., happened. It was time to post it. Thanks so much for your feedback.

  8. I can’t help but wonder what one person’s influence on these people’s lives could have made all the difference. Just showing some of that New Testament love, you know? We just have to keep dishing out the love and hope for the best. Make a difference to those around you.

  9. With the recent shootings at that Wisconsin Sikh temple, my heart aches for those affected families. They were worshipping, not hurting anyone. It’s so ridiculous how much sin robs us. My hope is in the Lord too.

  10. We live in a crazy world sometimes… and it’s hard to figure out why some things happen, especially to good people. I know all I can do is put my faith in the Lord.

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