You can substitute your own “s” words in the title for this past Sunday’s Tavern Talk. But regardless of the words you use, everyone can relate. We’ve all been there. Other more common titles or subgenre for this topic are “Why do bad things happen to good people” and “Why do good things happen to bad people.” Why? That is the big question. And, one of the leading arguments by people questioning the existence of God or of a loving God. Our attempt this week was to answer that question.
Sure, we have all made some dumb mistakes in our lives which easily explained the resulting bad stuff in which we found ourselves mired. Those are easily explained. But what about the stuff over which neither we nor anyone else actually directly caused? It happens, right? Death, illness, financial ruin, job loss, love loss, natural disasters, etc. How are we to explain such things? Better yet, how are we to deal with them?
Our go-to source for direction, guidance, and examples is the Bible. Sure, you can find support for all kinds of unquestionable conduct in the Bible. While we must remember that it is an ancient text, a study of it reveals that people haven’t really changed that much. You want to find bad things happening to good people, check out the Bible. It’s filled with examples. But, it’s also filled with stories of truly good things happening to good people. That is called hope.
Our example was Job. He lost almost everything. All of his worldly possessions (which were vast), his health (he was covered with painful sores from head to toe), and his sons and daughters. Job didn’t deserve any of it. He was the most righteous man in the land. But, he suffered. Did God do these things to Job? No. Job spent a great deal of time grieving, then too much time questioning why these things had happened. He never lost his respect or appreciation for God’s power and authority, though he questioned the justice. Finally, God spoke to Job. God said who are you to question why? Then God blessed Job in ways beyond what he had before.
The takeaways are many. God didn’t test Job. God doesn’t test us. Satan did these things. Satan tests us. God never abandoned Job. God was always there. We should not waste our time wondering why or blaming ourselves when things go wrong. Sure, grieving is a natural and necessary process when we lose anything that was meaningful to us (people, relationships, significance, appreciation, love, things), but our lesson? Love God and move on. Look for and enjoy the future blessings that we will have.