What do you do when bad things happen?

A good friend asked my wife a question this week that many of us do when bad things happen to us.

This friend said something like: “Do you wonder why God would allow this to happen?” She was referring to an accident my wife had three weeks ago in Milan, Italy, when she fell head-first into a parked taxi, suffering a spinal cord contusion which left her in extreme pain in her arms and hands.

I love my wife’s response.

She said she was not worried because she knows God is in control. Although her path is difficult, she is confident God is with her.

She noted that God did not promise us a “bed of roses” in this life. But she knows God is going before her.

This is not pie-in-the-sky stuff. My wife is very honest about what she feels and thinks.

I can attest to the fact that she never once questioned God throughout the pain-wracked days following the accident. In fact, we both felt God was seeing us through some trying circumstances as we struggled to get her back to Ottawa. We saw answers to prayer as family and friends prayed for us and helped us.

My wife’s use of her arms and hands has improved remarkably since the accident. Her doctors have said she will regain 90-95 per cent use of her hands over the next six months to a year. She is still in pain, but much less so than even a week ago.

With my wife, I believe pain is part of life. As many have pointed out, we live in a fallen world. We will not be free of suffering until we see Jesus face-to-face in heaven.

It is natural to ask why God allows suffering. There are many answers to that question.

But the much more significant question is: How will you react to pain? Do you blame God or do you turn to him?

My wife and I believe that God loves us and is working things out for our good, as the apostle Paul said in Romans 8:28. We have already seen a lot of that “good” in the love, help and prayers of our family and friends.

Perhaps in later life we will see other good things that emerge from this terrible accident. Or maybe we will only know the full story when we talk with Jesus in heaven.

No matter what, we know God is with us.


2 comments so far

  1. linda m-n on

    How fortunate believers are to have the constant reassurance of God’s presence in all circumstances. And how blessed of you to share the good news of your faith, the love and support surrounding you, and of Ruth’s ongoing journey of recovery. Linda M-N

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