Recently, that age old question, "why do good things happen to bad people" has been haunting me. You see, I have always believed that it is man's own sin that causes the majority of our problems and that God does not will bad things to happen to us. Having said that, I have also always subscribed to the notion from the Bible that God can use anything for good if we will just let Him. Meaning that, if we let go and realize that yes, the situation is bad, but God is greater than any negatives we face, some good will come to us. And while I still believe that good can come out of anything, I am really wondering why God let's some of us be Jobs.
If you don't read the Bible or aren't a fan of the Old Testament, you might not know the story of Job. You see, Job (pronounced "Jobe") was the most righteous man in the land. This pleased God but made the Devil mad. So the Devil goes and talks to God and says that no man could possibly be that righteous and that Job is good only because he is blessed- no bad has befallen him. God has such belief in Job's faithfulness that he agrees to let the Devil try his hand at breaking Job. His only stipulation is that the Devil cannot physically hurt Job. In the course of this experiment, Job loses EVERYTHING- land, livestock, sons, riches! Job loses all that he counted as gain.
Now, this is where the story really gets interesting. You would think that Job would get mad at God, turn his back, and head the other way. Not Job! Job continues to be righteous and faithful. God lets the Devil have his way with Job again, and still Job remains upright. Even his friends, who pose some good reasons for Job to be angry, cannot sway Job away from God. In the end, God blesses Job and blesses him with TWICE as much as he started with!
To me, this is a great story of perseverance, triumph and a great and mature faith. This is a story of God's great belief in man. But lately, I've been wondering WHY God let the Devil go after Job in the first place. I understand that God knew Job's strength of faith, but WHY PUT THE MAN THROUGH ALL OF THAT? What was the good in this for Job? Why would God allow his suffering? Was it to prove a point to the Devil? Was it so Job could be a role model? Was it so Job would have more appreciation for the things he had? I'm not really sure.
I believe that today, maybe more than ever, the Devil walks among us. He takes many different forms and uses many of our weaknesses to drive us to sin. But in the end, we CHOOSE that sin. So, I guess the real question then is, why doesn't God intervene in these situations? And why are some peoples problems SOOO much larger than others?
In the last few years, I have dealt with the loss of a marriage. I have watched friends deal with the loss of loved ones, marriages, families, children and jobs. All of these are things that brought myself and my friends to our knees. And yet, most of us have managed to get up again. But what about those who don't? What about those who are left with NOTHING that resembles their former life?
Here is my conclusion....I believe that sometimes, we make large mistakes in our lives. And over time, that one mistake snowballs into many more mistakes. And sometimes, maybe, we end up with things that really shouldn't be ours. In order to get back on track, and walk righteously with God, maybe we have to lose those things which do not serve to bring out the best in us or were gotten from less than stellar ways. Now, I am not saying that the loss of a parent, child or loved one happens because of our personal sin. But I do believer that God uses those losses to open our eyes to ceratin things in our life.
Sometimes one thing in our life is so good, but we can't see that having that thing actually brings more pain because of all the harmful things attached to it. I think the hard part, though, is actually being able to SEE that holding onto those things would hold us back from real personal growth. I know that was certainly the case with me and my marriage. My children were attached to my marriage, therefore, my marriage must be a good thing for me. My children are wonderful for me, but as it turned out, the marriage that came with it was damaging to my soul in some ways. I had to let go of my marriage even though it was not what I originally wanted and it was so painful. I lost something that I had really wanted, but I would never have been able to grow into the person I am if I had stayed. So, maybe, just maybe, like me, we have to be brought to our knees in order to rise up and be the person we are destined to be! Only God has the REAL answers, but that thought sounds really good to me!