Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Why Bad Things Happen to Good People

I've miscarried twice as many times as I've carried a baby to term. I don't know why my body does this. I've had a battery of tests done, and the results told us nothing. I have no idea how many times I have burst into tears and wailed to the sky "Why?!"
Why do bad things happen to us?
You know, the bad things that are not the natural consequences of choices, but the things that nobody has any control over: poverty, untimely deaths, chronic illness, famine, abuse...

One explanation I've often heard is that we cannot fully appreciate good if we have no bad to compare it to. I think that is part of it. I think that's why we get hangnails or ear infections or bang our funny bones. I think that's why we have disappointments and phobias. It's why some days are diamonds and some days are stones. But I don't think that anyone needs to feel starvation in order to be grateful for food--mere hunger for a few hours or a day can make a person glad of a meal. And I do think I treasure my children a little bit extra because of how difficult it was to get them here, but obviously mothers without angels also love their children very much. Opposition is just a little piece of the answer to this question.

I have come to the conclusion that the primary reason that bad things happen to good people is to make us more patient and compassionate with others.

In my youth I was very judgmental about couples who waited to have kids, because I knew we were supposed to multiply and replenish... now I realize that life is so much more complicated than that, and maybe they had good reason for waiting, and maybe they didn't want to wait but didn't have a choice. In my own case, with all my miscarriages, for the first 2 1/2 years of my marriage an outsider looking in would not have known what I was going through. They would merely have seen someone who wasn't having children. It's not unusual for a couple to wait a few years after marriage to have children. Unless we told someone what was going on, I'm sure that most people assumed our lack of babies was intentional. They had no idea of our pain.  Now that I've been on the inside of a situation, I have learned to not judge, but to just love.

Could God stop the bad things? The pain and the sorrow and suffering in the world? I think so. I think He could. But I think He doesn't, so that we'll learn to be compassionate to our brothers and sisters in the world around us.

Have you learned yet?


Michele said...

I dont know that there are answers. I had a chaplain say once that all of our sufferings... if we viewed them in light of Christ on the cross, looking down and saying "Can you carry this bit of the burden for me?", then how would we view them? Would they still be so terrible, knowing that we were helping Him to carry a small bit of His weight?

Laurie said...

What a beautiful post with lots of great insight! Thanks for sharing it with us. I agree, I think our pain can be used by God to further His kingdom and our job is to allow him to do that - easier said than done. Hope you have a blessed week!

nicole said...

Thanks for this great post. I agree, and struggle with this question sometimes as I see suffering in the world. But we can choose to allow our painful circumstances to fortify our characters- to develop true compassion and love. The Lord can help us turn all our trials into triumphs. And we can remember that there is a higher reward for enduring all of life's tests. This talk has really helped me come to terms with this... http://lds.org/general-conference/2008/10/come-what-may-and-love-it?lang=eng

Estefany Galdamez said...

I just went trough the death of my little cousin on 18 months. And its still hard. As soon as it happen I blamed God because i had begged him not to take him from us because he was like a son to me. But now i started going to church and understood God doesn't do this so we can learn. God loves us so much that I can pretty much think he would do whatever so we woulnt suffer. It's just way of life that makes thing happen. I am deeply of your loss I know how much it hurts!

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