Mom…we’ve had our house broken into” was the call I received yesterday afternoon from my daughter Haylee.
“Oh no Haylee!…I’m so sorry this has happened to you again.”
This time, the “Home Sweet Home” that she shared with her husband Kevin, recently married in June of this year, was broken into. Again the question, “Why mom? and the trust broken again. “I thought this would be a safe neighborhood”, she said. “This is our home. They have violated a safe place for Kevin and I.”
The age-old question of “Why do bad things happen to good people” has been a conundrum by many theologians over the years. Many books have been written on the subject. In 1978, a book by Harold Kushner, a conservative Rabbi, was title, “When Bad Things Happen to Good People.” He came to the conclusion that it was essentially the “evidential problem of evil”. He states, “All we can do is try to rise beyond the question why did it happen and begin to ask the question what do I do now that it has happened?”
I am so impressed with how they have handled this violation of their home. So impressed with the attitude they have taken. Haylee and I have related this to how the enemy, satan, comes to steal, kill and destroy – to take what doesn’t belong to him. Christ so aptly called him a thief. Christ said, “There is evil in this world, but I have overcome the world.” I think Haylee and Kevin are taking this word to heart. They are not going to let this evil overcome them. In fact, they both feel stronger, more determined to not “let the enemy triumph over them” and are already seeing good coming from evil with friends offering prayers, asking what they can do to help, what do they need, giving encouragement. Like I said to Haylee, “God will bring beauty out of ashes Haylee. He will bring good out of what was meant for evil.”
I have found that the Bible is true when it says “in this world, you will have suffering, but be encouraged, I have overcome the world.” A promise that we will get through this.
As Christians, “What do we do now?”
When something unexpected happens (and it does to all of us), let’s not lose our faith or our hope that something good will eventually come out of the situation. Let’s gain a renewed sense of our faith, a renewed sense that there is always hope. Let’s ask ourselves what do I need to do to make this better? What can I learn about myself through this? How can I open my heart wider to encompass the pain and grow from it rather than closing down and isolating myself?
My house hasn’t been broken into, but I have experienced the unexpected. I’ve experienced pain, shed tears of disappointment, hurt, wanting to hide from it and close the doors. I’ve learned some things about myself through the unexpected that I would not have learned otherwise. I’ve learned about life, about people, about choices and much more.
Haylee said to me just this morning, “Mom…I have such peace today. I feel stronger in my faith. This isn’t going to get me down.” Isn’t that a great triumph right there?
We need to remember that underneath every dark cloud, the sun is still shining.
As Rabbi Jerome Epstein wrote:
“My understanding of God does not permit me to accept that every bad or good thing that occurs is a reward or punishment. There are times when bad things happen to good people…we need consolation, not anger; love, not hate. The God I serve and pray to daily has charged me not to blame but to help.”