Good morning! I hope you all had lovely weekends; mine was spent enjoying the sunshine!
I’ve had something on my mind the past few days. One of the hardest things to grasp is that sometimes really bad, hard and sad things happen to really good people. There is really no answer to the “Why?” question in certain situations. On Friday morning, three BGSU students were killed in a car accident on their way to the airport. The girls were doing nothing wrong; and just like that, their lives on earth were over. As I sit over 3000 miles away from my hometown today, my heart breaks over the devastation their families, sorority sisters, the college and the Bowling Green community are experiencing.
I didn’t know these girls at all, but immediately asked myself: WHY, WHY, WHY do bad, unfair, hard things happen to good and innocent people? If you’ve asking the same question or have at some point in life, today I want to encourage you to focus on a new question: what do we do when bad things happen to good people?
What we can do in these terrible, tragic and hard situations is hold onto hope that this season of grief will not last forever. We can trust that everything happens for a reason, even when we don’t have the slightest clue why right now. We can rest in the promise that we are never, ever alone. When my friend Jeff passed away, I found the words in Psalm 34 very encouraging:
18 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Brokenhearted means “burdened with great sorrow, grief or disappointment.” And that’s what we often feel as those left behind after a death; completely broken. Author Sheila Walsh wrote, “For all of us, there will be times when God seems far away and prayers bounce off the ceiling. It is at these moments- that we must choose. We can give in to despair, or we can keep going on in simple trust.” What we can do is trust.
Rabbi and author Harold S. Kushner said, “The questions of why bad things happen to good people transmutes itself into some very different questions, no longer asking why something happened, but asking how we will respond, what we intend to do now that it happened.” I hope and pray that you aren’t in a situation like this, but if something terrible has happened to you or someone you know, try your best to focus on your response instead.
We don’t just “get over” a death and we don’t ever completely heal from sadness, but what we can do is learn from each and every experience. What we can do is channel those sad feelings into a productive step forward. What we can do is remember the joy those individuals no longer with us brought to our lives. What we can do is appreciate the moment we are in with the people we love because life is very very short.
I ask that you please pray that a peace that passes all understanding would encompass everyone affected by this tragedy. Thank you!