Sunday, January 30, 2011

Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?

Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?  For some, this is the biggest question. It may be the one thing that keeps a person from having a relationship with God.  It is often an atheists biggest argument. I have definitely struggled with it before.
"Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see." - Hebrews 11:1, so I know that whatever God does is righteous even if I don't understand it or like it because of my faith, but it's so hard to explain that to someone. I have caught myself doubting it sometimes.
I like to listen to KLOVE radio.  They often have a segment called "behind the music" where there are stories of the inspiration behind a certain artist's song.  So often I hear stories of a terrible tragedy that has befallen one of these artists.  One day while I was driving in my car and listening to one of these stories I thought to myself " Why are these horrible things happening to these awesome Christian people?  They are so much better than me, and look at the tragedy in their lives." Right away I got my answer: that is why they are such good Christians!  
You might be thinking "that makes no sense", so I'll explain. The story of Jeremy Camp's wife, Melissa, particularly inspired me and you can read more about it if you aren't familiar here: . But basically Jeremy's wife Melissa died of cancer and he turned around and made some amazing, inspirational music.  I don't know about you, but I always imagined that if something like that happened to me, how would I go on living?  How would I ever get out of bed and face the day? Let alone stand up and glorify God because of it!  To simplify the thousands of thoughts and feelings I had about that revelation: That is why God let that happen to such good Christians as Jeremy and Melissa; because of that tragedy they were able to bring such glory to God. Jeremy said: "That was such a good act of obedience for me, just saying, 'Lord, I don’t want to do this, but I know this is why I am here.' "
"I remember not wanting to ask God, 'Why,' but I finally did, and God always spoke to me. He said, 'Jeremy, I don’t always want you to know why, because I want you to have a testimony of walking by faith.' And I had written that song previously on our honeymoon, Walk By Faith."
"And I look at these songs that come from it, Walk by Faith and I Still Believe. I wrote two weeks after she went to be with the Lord," says Jeremy. "I have seen story after story of God using this whole thing to show His faithfulness to encourage people. That blows my mind realizing that Melissa made that statement, that if even one person accepts Christ. I hear thousands and thousands of stories. I remember being on my face after that realization and God said, 'Jeremy, 'Remember.' "- from the interview Jeremy Camp: Melissa's Dying Wish by Audra Smith.
Romans 8:28 tells us "We know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose."  Yes it would be so tragic for this to happen, and I'm not saying that Jeremy doesn't have every right to mourn the loss of his wife, but wont it be wonderful when he gets to Heaven to hear his master say  "Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!" and to meet all of the other people in Heaven who are there because if the message that God inspired in him!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

...and 10 years behind I started my own blog

I remember playing "the Sims" on playstation years and years ago and seeing the option to have your sim "blog" and I had no idea what that even meant. Now I'm here trying to do it for myself. I always thought there would be no reason for me to keep a blog because I can't write particularly well and who would want to read about my life, anyway?
No one may read it, but every once in a while I have a profound desire to share my thoughts with someone and this is how I guess I can do it. If something I say can be a blessing to just one person then I guess it's all worth it.
I just started reading a new book recently called "Crazy Love". Last year when I was in the choir at my old church, someone who I really didn't know just handed it to me. I put it away on a shelf and thought I will read it after I finish ______.  So a year later I still haven't read the book. The church I was attending right before my son was born started doing a study with the same book. Kind of cool. I thought "okay, I'm going to read that book soon". Then, the other day I went to the book shelf, juggling the baby in one arm and searching for another book with the other and I pulled out "Crazy Love" by mistake. I thought "Okay, Lord, you want me to read this book."
I started reading the book right then and within five minutes, I really felt as if my whole life had changed! Have you ever had one of those WOW moments like that? Needless to say, I really recommend this book (but I always recommend reading the Bible first and foremost), and I hope to share more and more of it as I get further into it.
I just want to share what really grabbed me and shook me. And it's not like I didn't already know, but sometimes you've got to be told again in a different way before you really get it. I've had a really challenging year. I left my job, I got pregnant, we bought a house, moved, my grandma died, my other grandma got cancer and died in front of me withing 3 months, and then I went into labor 2 months early and had my son prematurely and had to watch him in the hospital for 3 weeks. It was a lot. Not all of it was bad, and I knew it was all part of God's plan for me, but I kept finding myself still trying to figure out "why".
I'm going to share what I read in the book that gave me such an "aha" moment. I hope I'm not breaking the law by copying it word for word, but this comes directly from Crazy Love by Francis Chan:
"God is all powerful.  Colossians 1:16 tells us that everything was created for God:  'For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth,visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.'
Don't we live instead as though God is created for us, to do our bidding, to bless us, and to take care of our loved ones?
Psalm 115:3 reveals, 'Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him.'  Yet we keep on questioning Him: ...'Why are so many people dying of starvation?'...'Why is my family so messed up?' 'Why don't You make Yourself more obvious to people who need You?'
The answer to each of these questions is simply this: because He's God. He has more of a right to ask us why so many people are starving.  As much as we want God to explain Himself to us, His creation, we are in no place to demand that He give and account to us."

Does that WOW anyone else? How can we possibly dare to understand why the creator of the entire Universe does what He does? We wouldn't understand even if He did tell us. That is how this epiphany of mine came to be. How I finally began to understand that I am His. Everything I am is His. Its all for His Glory. It's not so I can have a good time while I'm here on earth.  After all, earth is only a second in the grand scheme of things. Who knows how all the trials and tribulations we face here on earth will shape us for what is to come in Heaven - our real existence. Is it as mind boggling to you as it is to me? I could sit and think on it for hours.
The author of this book put it in layman's terms for us "If my mind is the size of a soda can and God is the size of all the oceans, it would be stupid to say He is only the small amount of water I can scoop into my little can."

Here is my prayer for today:
Father in Heaven, You are so mighty and majestic. You created the entire universe. Your power is indescribable and beyond limits, yet you still love me and have a specific plan for my life here on earth.  Forgive me for not trusting you at times. Help me to always remember that you are always in control and I don't need to know why You do what You do, but thank you for doing it! I love you so much, Father, and I am so grateful for Your grace so that I can have a relationship with you. In your Holy name I pray.

There is always a song that says it just right!