Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?

I got a text message from my lovely high school co-leader. She told me a tragic story about a friend who’s family has suffered a tragedy and had just gotten news of another. Her question:

Why do bad things happen to good people?

How can God let this happen?

Below was my response to her. I hope this helps you understand why. That this will allow you to lean on God, rather than pull away from Him.

My response:

You have to remember that we live in a world where sin is trying to wrestle the reigns from God’s hands. Satan is active and real. And Satan is terrified of the good, God loving people in the world. Satan knows that you have the potential to spread truth and love and joy. And Satan hates that. When bad things happen, often it is because Satan wants you to ask that question: “Why God?”

Satan wants you to question and pull away, and believe that God wants bad things and pain for us.

^That could not be further from the truth. God wants all good things for us.

When bad things happen I believe that one of two things are happening: God is trying to teach you something amazing, or Satan is jealous and trying to pull you back from God.

It can be hard to see the difference. And sometimes they are one in the same. God works in us for all good, and wants us to grow up and be wise in faith, humble, joyful, loving, and kind. Sometimes the only way to shake us from our terrible habits is to push and break. And every moment that happens God is sitting as a proud Father in heaven, wanting us to see how deep His love is.

While we are on this earth we are going to be subject, not only to our own sin, but to the sins of others. And until we are wrapped safely in heaven’s arms, we will experience unexplainable, heart breaking things. And it is how good people react to those bad things that makes people around us look up and notice.

In the most terrible times, people are watching how we react. And when we turn to God, even when it seems like God has allowed this terrible thing to happen, that we are able to show God’s great glory and love to others.

Know too, that God’s heart breaks when our heart breaks, especially when it is out of love for one another.

God never wanted this pain for us. We are the ones who strayed and changed. God is the ultimate love. The ultimate support. The ultimate forgiver. The ultimate healer. The ultimate everything.

It is my prayer that you find comfort in this post, and understand that you are fully, completely and wholely loved by God.

Verses to Read

Psalms 22

Proverbs 16:2

Job 35:13 – 14

Open Letter to Divorced Kids

I don’t know why my heart has been so stirred by stories of kids with divorced parents. It breaks my heart to see how empty and lonely they feel. Even more so, that they might not know how to have an amazing, fulfilling marriage some day. I’m writing an open letter to my students, that they may find healing and acceptance amidst a painful and uncontrollable situation.

Dear child,

You are loved. Even if you do not feel loved. Even if you feel alone and the cause of pain. You are so fiercely loved. Nothing you can do can change the fact that you are a child of God.

This world, which is full of sin, can be hard and painful. I am so sorry that you are learning this so young. My prayer is that you will find wisdom and not harden your heart.  God has such amazing things planned for your life. If you close yourself off you will miss out on so many awesome things. I hope that you will keep your heart open to love and be loved. Because no matter what you’ve been through you are deserving of love. You deserve to be loved.

I want to tell you a secret most grown-ups won’t tell you: adults don’t always behave the way they should. They are people with problems just like everyone else. And even though your parents have made choices that have deeply affected you, it does not mean that you are responsible. I know that you want to feel loved and accepted by your parents, as every child does. And sometimes it feels like your parents don’t love you when they fight or argue.

Even though this might be hard to understand, your mom and dad are hurting too. Whatever it is that has come between your parents has caused them pain. And just as you feel hurt and confused, they are feeling that too.

Know that if you don’t feel loved by them that you are loved by a perfect Father in heaven. He wants to take every pain from you. And all the things that you desire from your parents can be found in His ultimate love for you.

God loves you enough to give you the strength and wisdom beyond your years to get through this. Your life does not end here.

I want you to know that marriage is worth the fight. I know you probably don’t believe me. I want you to have an amazing, earth shattering, shooting star marriage. I want you to feel God’s love for you through your future husband or wife. I want your spouse to be fully loved by you. I want you to have a best friend that knows everything about you and can walk by your side for the rest of your lives together.

I want to tell you a secret behind every “perfect marriage”, they fight all the time. No one is perfect and we all make mistakes. We also won’t always agree on everything. When that happens strong couples put on boxing gloves and have it out. They don’t bottle it up, or lie, or ignore problems. That is how little problems become HUGE problems. There will be things that you fight about and talk to death over and over and over, because people are complicated and it is hard to change. But it is worth working through those problems for the overwhelming acceptance you feel after. Strong couples always apologize. It is never just one person’s fault. There is always something that you contributed to the situation, even if it is small.

Having a healthy marriage is hard work. But nothing compares to the deep love and acceptance that comes from a spouse that knows every part of you inside and out. It takes maturity and selflessness to have a strong marriage. My prayer is that you allow God to show you how to love and be loved.

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7