A brother of two friends of mine was killed yesterday in a freak accident. He was in his forties, married and the father of three children. He was a devout Christian who loved God and who served the Lord in all that he did. He and his entire family are what you’d call “good people;” hard working, would help anyone who needed it without giving it a second thought and who LIVED out loving God and loving people. And although I have expressed multiple times in this blog that “why” is not a productive question I find myself asking God why? There are terrible, awful men holding young girls captive in Nigeria, fathers who abandon their children and men who steal, kill and destroy. Why dear Father did this wonderful God-loving, family man have to be taken in such a tragic way at such a young age? Why?
After contemplating this question for the last 24 hours I have come to a conclusion. It is not a conclusion that I particularly like or that makes any of us feel better when we experience deep loss. This conclusion isn’t new or rocket science or deep or theologically profound. But is all I can come up with and sometimes whether you follow Jesus or not, you just need something that makes sense of the illogical and unfair. So here it is. Wonderful Christ loving people who do good things, have amazing hearts, are unselfish and kind have bad things happen to them just as often as awful people do. This has been the case since the beginning of time and I’m quite certain that sadly, this trend will continue until Jesus comes back to earth someday. I don’t like that but nothing you or I can do will change that fact.
Given that reality, Jesus is still the best option. Here is what I mean. Since bad things happen to good people and always will, if I don’t believe in Jesus, His plan, His goodness and an eternity of utopia for those who believe in Him (and therefore live life differently because of Christ’s grace and love), then what? Bad things still happen to good people without Jesus and on top of that, we lose all hope. We lose hope of any good coming from even the worst trials. We have no hope for our loved ones being in heaven with Jesus where “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain…” (Rev. 21:4). We have no hope that we will be able to face another day with joy or peace or strength beyond what we can muster up in and of our broken selves. At the end of the day if we don’t have Jesus, we still have unfair awful things that happen to good people and nothing more than that. At the end of the day life on earth is still hard, still painful and still unjust but without Jesus that is all there is. Given those choices under the reality we all live in, I choose Jesus.
“Dear Lord, thank you for this dear, dear family who lost their dad, husband, brother and son yesterday. God I thank you that although I will never understand why, I thank you for you. I thank you that in you we all have at least hope; hope that good will come and that you are still in control and are good. Hope that for eternity, for those of us who believe that you sent your Son and that you raised him from the dead, we will all be together someday in a perfect place where no one ever has to say good-bye. Thank you that in the reality of this place we call life on earth that you are our only and best hope. That is no small thing God. Please give piles and piles of it to this precious family in their place of hurt and loss. I don’t know what or how that will happen but I hope and believe that you are able to provide that. Thank you that as your followers we do not mourn as others mourn (I Thess. 4:13-18) and thank you that “hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts…” (Rom. 5:5). In your still precious Name, Amen.”