When Bad Things Happen to Good People
Filed under: Anger Management, Children's Needs, Gospel Centered Marriages, Parenting Skills, Personal Development, Prophets' Words
My daughter asked me yesterday, with great concern in her young voice, why bad things had to happen to good people. She was thinking of the people in Burma (Myanmar) and in China with the recent, horrific events they’re experiencing.
I thought of what a deep question this was and indeed, a question that has been asked by people and individuals off and on throughout the history of the world.
I am not a philosopher by trade. In fact, the first two times I attempted to take a required Philosophy class in college, I dropped the class both times; the thinkings were deep and difficult to follow. But because I couldn’t graduate without the class, I finally tried a third time. This time, the newest professor actually made sense and his overall enthusiasm soon moved me to a spot where Philosophy became my favorite subject.
But this still doesn’t mean I can answer deep philosophical questions the same way a true professional “Philosopher” would. In fact, at dictionary.com the definitions of the term “philosophy” are multiple (how ironic this is — even within the definition there are different approaches and answers about this one word!).
One definition is: “the rational investigation of the truths and principles of being, knowledge, or conduct.” Another definition is “the critical study of the basic principles and concepts of a particular branch of knowledge, esp. with a view to improving or reconstituting them: the philosophy of science.”
But one of the final definitions mentioned really struck me: “a system of principles for guidance in practical affairs.” And it is from this perspective that I want to write today.
As rhetorical as some people could get about “why bad things happen to good people”, all of that rhetoric doesn’t help soothe the anguish of the moment experienced by individuals suffering through severe times, such as those people in Burma or in China with the cyclone or earthquake (respectively).
But Jesus Christ does speak to this suffering. First of all, He knows of what He speaks. He, who bled from every pore in the Garden of Gethsemane, knows of suffering. He knows of anguish. For He carried it all so that He might know how to succor God’s children. And here is what He said,
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
“Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls” (Matthew 11:28-29).
I may not have all the philosophical answers to the difficult questions of the world, but I know Someone who does. I testify that He does lift burdens and answer unanswerable questions. All we need do is turn to Him.
Here is more information about Jesus Christ and some of the answers He provides to some of the more unanswerable questions of this life.