Monday, January 12, 2009

Bad Things Happen to Good People

My car broke down on the way to work this morning and then while we were towing it to a mechanic the battery went dead. The whole time I caught myself thinking; why is this happening to me? I have gone through this scenario far too many times, as I’m sure nearly all of us have at one time or another and in one situation or another. I have learned that bad things happen to good people, good things happen to bad people, but that also good things happen to good people and bad things happen to bad people. The one constant in all of this is that “things happen”.

We always hear the saying “why do bad things happen to good people?” I dare say that there have been many more good things which have happened to those good people than their memory can recall at the time something bad happens. For example, my car has been very reliable for many years and has had nearly no issues at all, but as soon as it breaks down on the way to work I quickly ask the Lord “why is this happening?” and become angry at the situation. I would be better served to thank my Father in Heaven that this was a minor breakdown and that he has allowed the car to run so well for so long.

We all face different situations daily that could be classified as bad or good. We can learn different things from every situation regardless of it being good or bad. My wife and I purchased a house a few years ago and after living there for a year there was a major accident where our hose broke while we were out of town and leaked through our basement, flooding our carpet, and ruining a lot of things in the basement. While replacing the carpet and fixing part of a wall that got soaked at the bottom, we noticed that our house had termites in it. We were able to get it treated and taken care of, but without this major “bad” incident of the flooded basement, we would have never known the problems our house may have had in the future. We were thanking our Heavenly Father when we found the termites that something bad happened to us allowing us to find out something that would save our house. The next time something bad happens, think of the possibilities that might have happened had your bad luck not stopped you or slowed you down.

Having something bad happen can also be good because it presents an opportunity for someone else to serve, give charity, or even say their prayers. How often have we been in a situation where we need someone’s help and a neighbor, a friend, or a relative is able to help? Have we thought about the impact this might have on their life? The one giving the service and helping will be blessed while helping you out and blessing your life. Therefore 2 blessings have developed because of a bad situation.

I helped someone recently with a flat tire on the side of the freeway. It was an older man and his wife and I could see that they were having trouble. I pulled over and found out the wrench they had did not fit the lug nuts on the tire they were changing. I retrieved mine and it fit their size and I was able to help them get on their way. The couple was from out of town and was going to Arizona to get cancer treatment for the wife. They were extremely grateful for my help and this left me feeling very good about myself that I stopped. I went home happier that day and probably helped my wife a little more that night making her able to complete something she wanted and helping her to feel better. I might have played with the kids a little bit longer, helping them to feel happier. The couple going to Arizona was thankful to have the stress of changing the tire removed and probably felt a little better about life because I stopped to help out. All of this came about because something like a flat tire happened to a very nice couple. Today my dad helped me out with my car. He gave me a tow to the local garage shop. It took a couple hours of his day to help me out. I know he felt good for helping me. I felt better that I could have someone to help me out and that I could get the car in the shop. All of this because, again, something bad happened to good people.

So the next time someone says “Why do bad things happen to good people?” be sure and tell them that something far better and far-reaching will come because of it. Don’t stress too much the next time something happens. Try to think of all the good that will come out of the situation and also think of the opportunities that will be presented to others. God loves us. He wants us to learn. He sometimes has to allow things to happen to us to help us to learn patience, love, long-suffering, and most of all to trust the Lord in all things whether they be good or bad.

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