I woke almost as suddenly as I had gone to sleep that night. I couldn't figure out what might possibly wake me up at 3:00 in the morning, until I looked down to a recent missed call on my phone from an old friend. I knew before reading her text message that something was off..little did I know how much. As I listened to her on the other end of the phone, it was like I was seeing myself from a distance, but not at all in my body. There had been an accident of a good friend of mine, a childhood friend, and it didn't look good. Little did I know my worst nightmare would be happening. As I tried to grasp how something so tragic could affect someone this young, a good boy, with a great family; a family who had been around my family since before I can even remember. Why do things happen to good people? Does everything really happen for a reason? Where was God during this tragedy?
These are some of the questions we've been discussing at my church this past month. As each question was addressed, my mind always returns to my dear friend. I've been through so many emotions these past 9 months. Why would God take someone who was loved by so many people, not to mention in the dawn of his young life? What good could possibly come out of this? A lot of Christians are taught not to question God in times of despair or crisis and that by doing so you're not allowing yourself to have faith in God, but in reality it's the exact opposite. God is big enough to handle our questions. He's not finished in our lives, and doesn't cause bad things to happen in them, but no matter what, will bring good out of our misfortunes.
When tragedies such as the one in my life occur, the common phrase that is used to "mend" our pain is "Everything happens for a reason." What they really mean to say is that everything happens for a divine reason. By saying that, it assigns everything that happens in this world to God. My personal belief, although some may beg to differ, is that God doesn't cause bad things to happen in our lives; sometimes bad things just happen. However, God does use these bad situations to bend them and shape them into His will for our lives.
So where was God when these terrible things happen in our lives? As my pastor described, I, just as many others have been in tough times, felt as if I was left alone in complete darkness, searching for all the answers I knew I might never get. There are three reasons that bad things could happen in our lives. The first, is that humans have free will. God allows this, and allows us to make our choices because a love that is forced isn't love at all. These choices that we make can be sinful, which in turn leads to a fallen creation. Luckily, God is still working on creation constantly and will never give up on us. The ultimate show of arrogance is to blame God for our choices. The answers to my questions, as well as to yours when it comes to times of tragedy and unfortunate circumstances wont ever give any of us any comfort. The only source that can bring comfort is God and His love.
I may never have the answers to why one of my good friends was killed. His family and loved ones won't ever get the answers that will comfort them, or more importantly bring him back to all of us, however throughout everything God will be there with us guiding us through the tough times in our lives and molding us into the will that He has layed out before us.