When bad things happen to good people, should we get angry at God? Should we blame Him for our malady? Should we demand of Him that because we are His children, our lives should be filled with rainbows and butterflies?
Where does this sense of "entitlement" come from? God has never promised us rainbow-filled lives. In fact, the Bible promises quite the opposite. Those who believe in Christ will suffer. No man is greater than his master, and our Master SUFFERED. In the most horrendous of ways. Crucifixion has got to be one of the most heinous of tortures ever to spring from the mind of man.
Aside from the torture our Lord endured, look at His life. He was, for all intents and purposes, homeless. He had no money. He ate where He could, most likely from the generosity of His disciples. Perhaps from the providence of friends and strangers. Most likely He only owned one set of clothing. He washed whenever He could find water. He slept on the ground. A lot.
As His followers, what makes us believe our lives should be any better?
I have said before our joy comes, not from our circumstance, but from God alone. If you build your house on the rock, then no storm can shake you. No wind can move you. You're anchored in Christ Jesus.
Recently, I've been diagnosed with a disease in my lower leg called Cellulitis. It's a nasty infection of the skin, usually caused by the staph virus. It laid me out in the hospital for a full seven days. After I got home, it laid me out in bed for a week and a half. In fact, I'm still IN the bed, as I'm writing this at the week and a half mark. I have huge, disgusting blisters on my calf that have turned into open wounds. The pain of having my leg vertical can become excruciating. I have to use crutches to get around, and I visit the wound care clinic at my local hospital twice a week to change my bandages.
Have I once blamed God? Have I once shaken my fist at Him and cursed His name?
In fact, being forced to lie on my bed day after day has brought me closer to Him rather than farther apart. Things I've taken for granted, like warm sunlight on my face or the cool breeze in my hair, have now become simple delicacies that I acutely enjoy. Birdsong - who knew how beautiful it is to just sit and listen?
If anything, this illness has given me a greater appreciation for God, and for the Body of Christ. During my entire stay in the hospital, I had members of two churches praying for me, as well as an entire Christian forum I'm a member of, friends on Facebook, my family, and my real-life friends. Three members of my church came and visited me and prayed over me -- twice. My sister had her pastor pray for me on Good Friday. I believe all these prayers covered me during my stay in the hospital, and beyond, as I've had a good-natured attitude throughout it all.
Some people might say, "Well, that's just you, Becka. You're a good-natured person in general!" Well, that's true, but let me tell you, I do get down in the dumps. I do get depressed. And this was one of those times when I had every opportunity to become depressed. There have only been a handful of times, perhaps two, that I've teared up over being stuck in the bed for so long. But even then, what comforts me is turning on my Christian music and gazing out the window at God's creation.
I find my joy in Him. I always have and I always will. Whenever I'm feeling blue, all I have to do is turn to God. "I lift my eyes up, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of Heaven and Earth." ~~Psalm 121:1-2
You know what it's like for me? Coming to God when I'm feeling lost, alone, hurt, sad, or depressed is like being able to BREATHE again. Suddenly, I'm cleansed from my problems. They don't seem so big anymore. I don't have to bear them alone. I don't have to bear them at all. My Savior carries them for me. He makes me feel loved, cherished, and cared for.
I know without a doubt that God has heard all the prayers from His saints regarding my healing. My swelling has gone down tremendously and my pain level has lessened from the torture it used to be of just getting out of bed to use the restroom. There is still a great deal of pain, however, and a long road before I'm back to 100%, but through it all, I have never once even let the thought cross my mind to "blame" God or "curse" Him for allowing this to happen. I know all things work together for the good to those that love the Lord. If God allowed me to contract Cellulitis for His glory, who am I to yell at Him for it?
He's helping me through it, He hasn't left me alone. He's right here with me, encouraging me, teaching me, and giving me a Shoulder to cry on if I need it. Why would we EVER turn from the One who understands what we're going through? Who's felt the pain Himself? Who knows what it's like? Why would we forsake the very One we need in our time of need? How could we turn our backs on the One who has NEVER turned His back on us...?
Bad things happen to good people. It rains on both the righteous and the unrighteous, just as the sun shines on both the righteous and the unrighteous. "In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart, I have overcome the world!" ~~John 16:33
Do you know why we can find comfort in Christ's words that He has overcome the world? Because if we remain in Him and He lives and shines through us, then WE TOO shall overcome the world.
Amen. Lord Jesus, may I ever find my comfort and hope in You, no matter how tempestuous the storm, no matter how dark the valley of the shadow of death. May I ever cling to Your robes and follow where You lead to the glory of God the Father, and for the simple fact that I absolutely adore You, my precious, wonderful King.
Amen and amen.