A 12-year-old girl passed away recently from complications with pneumonia. This sweet child left a letter to her future self, which her family discovered when going through her personal things after her death. In the inspiration letter we find that she is a young believer who encourages her future self to remain in God's purpose for her life. She alludes to a missions trip she has been on and refers to her iPad and a trip to Dollywood.
See letter here: [Letter to Adult Self]
In reading this (as it's gone viral), I couldn't stop thinking about this child's family. How unfair it is to lose a child at such a young age from a sickness we would think at this day in age could be contained.
Why do bad things happen to good people?
That is a popular question that circles during "bad" times. The Word says in Matthew 5:45 that the sun rises and sets on evil people and good people, and rain falls on righteous people and unrighteous people. While both good and evil people can enjoy the beauty and warmth of the sun, those same people will both see rain. Both good and bad people will see and experience good and bad times in this life.
Human nature wants and desires for good people to be given special treatment.
Our nature says: "If you're a 'good person,' you don't deserve bad things to happen," or "God is in control, He should be able to only punish bad people by allowing bad things to only happen to them and protect good people." While I sincerely believe that God does protect those who are faithful to Him (we see his protection exemplified in His Word countless times), God's Word tells us that even the faithful and righteous will experience rain (painful times in their lives, dreary days, unpleasant situations, etc.).
Jesus tells us to expect hard times (John 16:33), that they will indeed come, and it has nothing to do with fair and/or unfair. We must trust that God has a greater purpose for everything that occurs in this life. There is good that can come out of bad situations. If things were peachy all of the time, what would we need God for? It would be easy for our works-based egos to well up within us and deny our need for God. What better way to be an example to a world that does not know God by allowing Him to show His goodness to us in hard times? It is easy to obey God when the sun is shining, but it is much more difficult to trust Him when, say, our 12-year-old dies from pneumonia. We also do not see or know the bigger picture --- the reality that perhaps God is using whatever negative situation as a way of protection from something worse. Our trust should remain in God. He is in control and He will not leave or forsake us (despite what our feelings tell us).
Have faith that things will turn out for good, especially in bad times.
Romans 8:28 says that we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to his purpose.If we love God and are walking in His purpose for our lives, we can have faith in knowing that in all things (the good AND the bad) God is working on our behalf. He can turn any situation around and use it for HIS glory.
What foundation is your house built on?
In Matthew 7: 24-27 we read about two scenarios and two houses. Both houses experience the SAME storm (wind, rain and floods), but one can withstand the storm while the other does not. The house that remains standing at the end of the storm is the house that is built on a rock. The house that is built on sand cannot withstand the storm. The question we really should be asking is, "How can I withstand the storms of life?" Regardless of how good of a person you are, knowing that the storms will come should urge you to prepare wisely. What foundation is your house (your faith, your mindset, your heart) built on? The rock in this story symbolizes the Word of God and Jesus' teachings. When Christ is the foundation of our lives, we can better withstand the storms of life and we can more clearly see the good He is working out on our behalf. We are no longer focusing on, "Why does God let bad things happen to good people," but see our tough times as opportunities for God to show up. There will never be a satisfying answer for that question, and if that is where your heart stays grounded, your house will indeed fall.
He works all things out for our good.
As the precious 12-year-old's letter is being passed to thousands of viewers over the internet, her testimony is touching the lives of people she may have never touched had she lived. That is such a profound thought. I know her family is heartbroken, but in their heartache, they decided to share with the world a piece of their daughter's life that may change the lives of so many people. Only God knows how this story has touched the lives of people who may be in need of hearing about Him.
If the rains and wind are beating down on your house this season, do not lose your faith and hope. Know that God will work all things out for your good. It may not look like it, it may not even be fair. You may feel betrayed and forgotten. That is exactly how your enemy wants you to feel. Remember where you built your house and the promises your Heavenly Father has made over your life.While life may not be fair, God is just. He will see you through, and with time, your house will remain standing.