Close your eyes for a moment.
Now, imagine you’ve just married the love of your life. The person who was made just for you. The person you’ve waited so long to be with until death do you part.
One afternoon, two weeks after you’ve said your vows, your loved one says they’re not feeling well. It begins with a migraine headache, followed by numbness in one leg and nausea.
Soon their pain becomes unbearable. You drive them to the emergency room. Their blood pressure has skyrocketed beyond stroke-level. A CT scan shows bleeding on the brain. Doctors later tell you this is from a ruptured aneurysm.
You spend weeks in the hospital as your husband/wife undergoes various tests and procedures. On the outside you are strong. On the inside, your heart is breaking as you watch your loved one transformed into a shell of the person they were a few weeks ago.
Finally, after much intensive therapy, they are able to mouth words, write their name, and brush their teeth. They can breathe without a ventilator for short periods. They’ve made progress, but it’s going to be a long road ahead.
This is not their fault. Your spouse didn’t bring this on themselves. They didn’t abuse drugs or alcohol. They didn’t commit a crime. They are innocent, yet now they have to learn to talk again. To read. To walk.
The plans you’ve made for the future must now be modified, perhaps even abandoned, just when you were beginning your new life together.
Imagine that for a moment. It’s heart-wrenching, isn’t it? It seems so unfair.
Now, open your eyes.
Breathe a sigh of relief.
It’s not real. It’s all in your head. Just a bad dream. Maybe you have a terrific marriage, maybe you’ve been married for 25 years, and you’re both healthy. Maybe you have six wonderful grandchildren who enrich your lives in ways you never considered. Maybe your life is grand. And that’s great. If any of these things apply to you, God bless you. I mean that. You are very fortunate. You are blessed.
But for others, life isn’t so grand. You see, this scenario I’ve described isn’t hypothetical for one friend of mine. For him, it’s all too real. It actually happened a few weeks ago. As of this writing, his new bride is still in the hospital. She’s made great progress in a few weeks, but they both have a long road ahead of them.
And they are newlyweds.
I don’t know why bad things happen to good people. I don’t understand why a child dies of cancer. I can’t explain why someone who abuses their spouses physically, mentally, and emotionally lives to be 95 while someone who never has a cross word for anyone dies before their first grandchild is born. It defies any logic I’m aware of.
What do you do when your young son/daughter is killed in a horrific crash? What do you say when a young lady you knew in high school, who has never harmed anyone, is diagnosed with leukemia?
How do you respond when tragedies occur?
How could a loving God let this happen?
Why would He allow six million people to be slaughtered?
How could He give a young woman an aneurysm two weeks after her wedding?
Where is His mercy? Where is His compassion?
Now, ask yourselves another question.
Is God really to blame here? Is He responsible for every hurricane that destroys a coastline and kills hundreds of people? Did He sign off on every horrific massacre, every case of genocide that has occurred in our history? Did He cause those airliners to fly into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on 9/11?
If you’ve read this far and you’re waiting for a big revelation from me, I am sorry. I don’t have the answers. I don’t know why these things happen. I just know they have been happening for hundreds of years, and I am confident the trend will continue long after I’ve become dust.
My wish is that you never know the pain and suffering I’ve been talking about.
We’re only here for a little while.
To quote the movie Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, “Be excellent to each other.” 78