We glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope… Romans 5:3-4
I am a firm believer that good can come from bad, no matter how bad that bad is. Only God knows the reason and purpose for every event in our lives. Each event, each trial and each tribulation is an opportunity for growth. It is how we respond to these trials and events that determine the path we take. Do we take these opportunities to grow in our faith and love or do we immerse ourselves in the corrosive effects of anger and despair? Here are two examples of people I know who took two different paths when tragedy struck their lives.
A woman I know had a teenage son who was taken from her by a drunk driver. At that time her faith was tepid. Her immense grief turned her to God for the love and support she needed to get her through her pain and anger. Not only did her love and faith in God grow strong, she started and headed a chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) . She became greatly influential and was instrumental in passing some of the tough drunk driving laws we now have in the United States. She devoted, and continues to devote, herself to counseling grieving families of victims of drunk driving. I don’t know what became of the man who was driving the car that killed her son, but perhaps in the tragedy that struck his life there is a story of regeneration, redemption, faith and love.
My next example is a college friend of mine. In 1994 his twin brother succumbed to AIDS. His faith in God was tepid, at best. Since then, he has turned away from God for support and love and turned to drugs to ease his grief, anger and pain. His self-centered self destructive life continues to this day. These are two examples of how two people reacted and responded to tragedies in their life.
God allows us to go through trials and adversity. The reason and purpose is part of the mystery of life. We can never immediately know any of the reasons of any tragedy or crisis in our lives. This is where our trust and faith God come in. If we believe in the infinite and perfect love of God, then we must trust in the perfection of His plan for us. Many of us find that love only after a crisis or when we have hit rock bottom. God loves us infinitely and wants us to join Him in heaven for eternity. When bad things happen, we can blame God, lose our faith and end up immersed in our own self-destructive bitterness and grief, or we can trust God and take comfort that His love and and plan is perfect.