Several months ago I had lunch with a good friend. I’ve known this guy for several years, and we have a lot in common. We both found out within a few weeks of each other that we were going to be fathers, and we were both pretty stoked about it. Our wives were due a few months apart, and he was having a son, and I a daughter. I quickly told him that his boy had better stay away from my little girl, because she’s not allowed to date until she’s 40. Months went by and suddenly I find myself in the hospital, staring at a beautiful little miracle that God so graciously gave to an undeserving sinner. My little girl decided she wanted to enter this world a month ahead of time, so we had to stay an extra few days in the hospital to make sure she was ok to come home. We were able to bring her home a few days later, and when we got home I learned that my friend’s wife went into labor. I knew it couldn’t be good, because their baby was due months after our daughter. Their baby was born several months early, and he was struggling to live. He survived a few weeks, and my friend was crushed. It’s been almost a year since all that happened, and while we prepare to celebrate our little princess’ first birthday, I’m reminded of my friend’s little boy. While we were having lunch, he unloaded on me. I’m not sure why, maybe he just needed a fresh mind to dump all of his hurt onto? My friend doesn’t attend church. He was born into the Catholic faith and never really accepted or agreed with it. He told me about all the hurt he and his wife were going through, and I searched desperately for words to comfort him. The conversation quickly turned to God and religion, and he told me of how he went to his priest to find answers. He blames God. I tried to reassure him that God didn’t let his little boy pass away, but he’s still angry. I told him of some hard, dark times in my life that I went through, nothing really compared to his situation, but I explained how during some of those trials I nearly lost my faith. I told him how I prayed and prayed but God didn’t answer me in the way I thought he should have, and once I prayed that his will be done, things drastically turned around for me. The Lord didn’t take his son away, the world did.
It’s hard to find the words to comfort someone we care about when they go through such awful times. Some of those people have hardened hearts, and decide to blame God instead of seeking him. I guess it’s easy to say seek God when we haven’t hurt like others, but in our futures there is hurt on the horizon. Bad things happen to good people, it’s a fact. I hope that in the trials to come I can remember to “practice what I preach”.
I’m reminded of one of my favorite verses, Matthew 11:28…”Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest“. We need to remember to be more like Job when bad things come into our lives. He was a man blameless and upright, and lost everything. He stayed true to his faith and the Lord blessed the second part of his life more than the first (Job 42:12). It can be hard to witness to those who are hurting and feel like the Lord has turned his back on them, but we have to remember our faith and reassure them that God is there for them always. Bad things do happen to good people, but we serve an awesome Lord that is always there for us to give us rest if we’ll let him.