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When Bad Things Happen

December 28, 2011


When bad things happen …

I had a hard time with the title on this one. It was tempting to call it "when bad things happen to good people" - but that presupposes I'm "good people". I prefer to leave that to God. I have a much better chance of coming out "good" -


Isa 1:18 “Come now, let us reason together,”

says the LORD.

“Though your sins are like scarlet,

they shall be as white as snow;

though they are red as crimson,

they shall be like wool.

Isa 1:19 If you are willing and obedient,

you will eat the best from the land;

Isa 1:20 but if you resist and rebel,

you will be devoured by the sword.”

For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.


- not because I really am good - but because He'll see me that way.


Anyway - if you're a regular reader, you've probably read about

And now - yesterday - I was hit by a driver that made a left turn in front of me. She had a stop sign - I was on a street with a 40 mph speed limit.
Still waiting to see what happens to the car - expect it'll be totaled.
Other than being stiff & sore - I'm OK.
Oh - and then there's the car payments that we're probably going to have to start making, since I don't expect the insurance will be enough to get a relatively "newer" car, as mine was 10 years old.

So now we're at three "bad" things in about a month and a half.

There's a few different ways to look at this.


Maybe it could be coincidence - or a string of bad luck.
I don't really believe that.
I assume that things happen for a reason.


Another grouping of possibilities would be something like -
God's mad at me -
I did something wrong to deserve this -
God doesn't care what happens to His people -
all sorts of things like that.

This kind of reasoning could lead to a conclusion similar to what Job's wife said to him in Job 2:9 -

Job 2:9 His wife said to him, “Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die!”

I can't go there either .
I prefer to go with Job's response back to her -

Job 2:10 He replied, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?”


Of course - now the question that comes to mind -
why is this happening -
why is God bringing / allowing all this trouble?


I can think of various reasons -
could be I did something wrong - which would be the choice of Job's friends -
could be this web site - or something I'm doing at church - getting Satan upset - which would be the choice of spiritual warfare people -
could be something entirely different - something I don't even know about - which would be the lesson from Job.

Not to say that I'm going through what Job did -
and I certainly pray that no one else does either -
but I believe there's a lesson there for us in God's response to Job .

The Lord's response goes on for 129 verses!
It's 4 entire chapters - 38 through 41.
Here's just the first seven verses -


Job 38:1 Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm. He said:
Job 38:2 “Who is this that darkens my counsel
with words without knowledge?
Job 38:3 Brace yourself like a man;
I will question you,
and you shall answer me.

Job 38:4 “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
Tell me, if you understand.
Job 38:5 Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
Who stretched a measuring line across it?
Job 38:6 On what were its footings set,
or who laid its cornerstone—
Job 38:7 while the morning stars sang together
and all the angels shouted for joy?

And Job's response -

Job 42:1 Then Job replied to the LORD:
Job 42:2 “I know that you can do all things;
no plan of yours can be thwarted.
Job 42:3 You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge?’
Surely I spoke of things I did not understand,
things too wonderful for me to know.


The key part there is the end -

Surely I spoke of things I did not understand,
things too wonderful for me to know.

I totally believe that.

I don't understand.
I don't have a clue what this is going to be for -
maybe it will touch one of you.


In Jeremiah 29, The Lord says -

Jer 29:10 This is what the LORD says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity."


For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.


One of my friends who saw a picture of the car said I was blessed to not be hurt in the accident.
Looking back on it - it's what didn't happen that makes it even more true.

I saw the car turn left in front of me -
hit the horn and slammed on the brakes.
When she hit me - she had a big SUV - I had a little two seater car -
we made contact on the front corners of each car.
Being much lighter - mine was spun 90 degrees around to the left -
now sitting perpendicular to traffic -
the front in the left turn lane and the back in the fast lane.

Now - what didn't happen.

This was two days after Christmas -
so what would have normally been a busy rush hour was quite light traffic.
Normally there would have been someone right behind me -
that would have rear-ended me.
But there wasn't anyone.

Had I stopped the car any sooner / quicker -
it probably would have been a head on collision, based on the way she made the turn. That would have deployed the air bag - and things likely go down hill from there.

Had I stopped any later -
she would have plowed into the side of the car -
which would have either flipped it (a convertible - ouch!)
or pushed it into oncoming traffic from the other side.
Neither of those would have been good.


For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. "


No - I don't know what those plans are.

No - I don't know if this is spiritual warfare.

No - I don't know if this is some sort of "test" of faith.

No - I don't know what it is.


I do know - it doesn't matter.

Because I also believe -

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."


Looking back on these three events -

Hachi recovered not only completely, but much faster than expected. Believe it or not - after that - he seems to trust me and feel even safer with me that he did before.
And isn't that the way we should be with God?

The tree was removed -
didn't do any damage -
the neighbor paid for the removal -
we have plenty of firewood for the next couple years (at least)
and we have the chance to re-do the bushes in the back yard.

The car can be replaced -
no one was hurt beyond being sore for a few days.
My wife will feel better when I'm driving a bigger car -
(probably an SUV so it can hold all three dogs + both of us).


What else is coming -

I don't know.

But I do remember the last part of those verses from Jeremiah -

"Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity."


I also have a verse that one of our pastors sent to me -
from Isaiah 43:2 -

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.” (ESV)


So - when bad things happen -

remember these things.

And also remember Jesus' words to His disciples, which also apply to us -

Mt 28:16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”


No matter what happens -
we're not alone -
unless we want to be.

It's better to not be alone.

He is there -
just remember Him -
and let Him be with you.

I'm so grateful that He's with me & my wife.