Monday, December 5, 2011

when bad things happen...

here's another contemplative thought that has been considered by pretty much every person who has ever walked the earth. yep. pretty sure.

why do bad things happen? and whats more, why do bad things happen to wonderful people?

'cause we live in a broken world, there's sin, blah blah. I've heard and said such things many times in the past few months while wondering about these questions.

because it seems just downright awful that the most generous, giving, selfless people get the most rotten luck. why does one of the nicest men I know become horribly injured in an accident? why are the lives of young people taken unexpectedly? why do super amazing people become the victims of abuse and poor treatment?

do you ever think that someone else's pain somehow helps you? I know that sounds quite horrible-hear me out. here are three ways (of many, I think) that pain/suffering/strife can have even small positive effect:

1) calling out the lie that one specific thing means life is perfect from here on out. whether it's weight loss, marriage, a dream-job or whatever - none of these things equates to a perfect life. as I recently read in a nutrition article, "there are many happy size-zeros. there are also many unhappy size-zeros." the point? whether it is being a size-zero, finding the person of your dreams, or becoming an olympic athlete, none of these will fulfill us and actually make our lives super wonderful 24/7. thus, seeing someone deal with a tough situation when they have what we want can make us re-evaluate that lie that our life will somehow be perfect once we attain said goal.

2) seeing that it is possible to get through a difficult situation. it is very encouraging for me to think of friends/family that have been through difficulties similar to those I am experiencing at a particular time and then see how happy they are now. obviously, this is not always the case, but a recent situation and how God redeemed it for a friend of mine has really shown me that we really can't see everything He has planned for us.

3) how people handle painful situations can be the most powerful testimony of all. there is a louie giglio video that talks about this exactly. he makes a brilliant illustration. when you are given a really difficult situation, you are being handed a megaphone. all eyes turn to you to see how you will handle the horrible hand you've been dealt (whether a loved one just died, you received a bad health diagnosis, you lost your job, etc. etc.). you have the opportunity to scream your testimony into that megaphone for all those eyes (or ears rather). so true. I think of all the times my mega-phone message is less than positive and a horrible testimony that I hope nobody was listening to. but true nonetheless - awful situations breed wonderful opportunities to broadcast a message, loud and clear.

obviously I think there are so many unnoticed/unseen pros that can come from pain and difficulty that we may never be aware of. and when I'm in a great deal of pain, the last thing I want is a peppy little talk on how to use my pain for positivity. but stepping back and re-evaluating the way I've learned from those who handled suffering in a Godly manner has really made me think about the bigger picture and the ways God uses the horrible, ugly things of this world for his glory, too.

I stumbled across this in ecclesiastes a few weeks ago and I thought these words are so wise (obvi since they're divinely-inspired I suppose)...

"When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider this: God has made the one as well as the other." - ecclesiastes 7:14

just my musings for tonight. happy only 20 days til we celebrate baby Jesus's birthday!

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