Falling to Pieces

image by Jackson Simmer on Unsplash
This week has been a tough one. I learned that a childhood friend committed suicide. My son’s father has been hospitalized with serious health issues. Our beloved cat may be in his last days.

(Don’t misunderstand–I am not equating my cat’s illness with the death or illness of human beings. I’m just pointing out that this week has not been spectacular.)

I’m not the first to write about why bad things happen to good people. Multiple books have been published on the subject. Here’s just a sample (Disclaimer: I’m not recommending any of them because I’ve not read them):
When Bad Things Happen to Good People, by Harold S. Kushner, 2004
When Bad Things Happen: What Happens and What to Do, by Damien Howard, 2015
Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People? by David Arnold, 2008
Why Does God Let Bad Things Happen? by Chris Morphew, 2021
Seven Reasons Why Bad Things Happen to Good People, by David Bisbee, 2022
If you’re at all familiar with individuals in your Bible, you know that righteous people are not promised an easy life on earth:
  • Abel was murdered by his brother Cain.
  • Moses had a speech impediment.
  • Job endured the loss of his family, his wealth, and his health.
  • Paul suffered from an unnamed affliction.
When we are overwhelmed with suffering, loss, and tragedy, is it ok for us to question God? Yes. Absolutely, yes.  
Most of the Old Testament prophets questioned God. Job questioned God. Even Jesus questioned God: in Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34, Jesus cries out, “My God, my God! Why have you forsaken me?”
Sidebar: This is the only direct quote of Jesus while He was on the cross that appears in more than one gospel, and it is actually a quote from Psalm 22:1.
Did Jesus give up on God? Theologians offer various opinions, but one that resonates with me is that Jesus’ cry showed that He was fully human and He suffered as a human would suffer.
Another explanation is that, by quoting from the Old Testament, Jesus showed Himself to be the very Being to whom the words referred. In other words, He demonstrated that He had fulfilled the scripture.
While I don’t have the answer to the question of why God allows us to suffer, I’ll share some passages of scripture that have helped ease my mind this week.
Isaiah 55:8-9 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.”

To me, this is God’s way of saying, “Don’t worry—I’ve got this.”

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  
God reassures us that there is a plan, and from this, I infer that there’s a reason for the suffering that I can’t yet understand.
Psalm 121:1-2 “I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.” 
If I can remember to lift my eyes from earthly problems and set my sights on what’s to come, I can renew my strength.
Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”  
God has good things in store for us.
Psalm 30:5 “Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning.” 
God is in control and His plan leads us to something wonderful.
The world is far from God right now, but even in the darkest days, God is in control.   We can have hope, because we know the end of the story!

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1 thought on “Falling to Pieces”

  1. Thanks as always Teresa, I also had a rough & dark week. It got much better, blessed & so glad God helped me through a few items, mostly beyond my understanding.

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