Why do bad things happen?

Horrific. devastating. Heartbreaking. Catastrophic.

Pictures of Japan’s aftermath

The earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan in the last 24 hours is unimaginable. That is unless you were in south Asia a few years ago or in Louisiana when Katrina hit. I think only those people can truly understand the possible magnitude of this event. I’ve been through my share of hurricanes on the east coast, but it does not even compare.

I stopped to think, as a lot of people probably have today, why God? Why do bad things happen to good, innocent people? Why does God allow them? He could certainly stop the earth from shaking in an instant. He could halt the raging waters without flinching. But he doesn’t.  Maybe, just maybe, we are the answer to those questions. God uses everything to bring glory to Himself. I think that we are such a self-absorbed, selfish people that it takes something this bad to wake us up. When my mind drifts to places like this, I bring it back to the truth. The truth is…. God is love. God loves us. We are to be like God. We are to be love.

I find it amazing, refreshing, and such a show of who God is in the aftermath of disasters big and small. In the minutes and hours since the devastation in Japan, people everywhere have been praying. Thousands have been posting facebook statuses and tweeting about praying for and sending aid to Japan. The world, the human race, unites in love when struck with pain. I think that’s that answer. Maybe it takes something so bad to wake us up to the call that has been placed in all of our hearts (whether we know it or not). We are to show the world the love of Christ. We were created to this way, otherwise it would not come so natural after an event like this.

Today, as people around the world pray, as the president and news media say they are sending their prayers to the people of Japan, as students in classrooms pray for Japan, it brings such joy to my heart to know that God is still here in America. The ACLU isn’t trying to sue the president for praying for Japan or teachers that allow their students to pray. I can’t imagine the joy it must bring God. I know God does not cause bad to happen on this earth. I also know that He is glorified when we talk to Him, when we reach out to those that are suffering, when we show His love to the world, and when we bear one another’s burdens.  I love that even our celebrities are praying.

I’m not just talking about the disaster in Japan either. Think about it for a moment. The struggles in Libya. People have been praying…. mostly for it to end so gas prices come back down, but it’s still prayer, right. The revolution in Egypt. The flooding in Australia. All recent human strife. People have been compassionately loving on those affected. What about when Congresswoman Giffords was shot. The horrific day that changed the lives of so many. The President, government officials, and news media sent out love and prayers to all those affected by that tragedy. No one complains. No one says you can’t pray for those people. No one sues them for it. No one even has to state that it’s their 1st amendment right to say it. Everyone knows that is what we do, as people. We show compassion and love because our God made us to do so.

I want to think about this a little closer to home. Maybe we have never been faced with a natural disaster, but we have all faced some sort of pain. It’s part of the human life. When our local community, neighbors, coworkers, friends and family have a small catastrophe show up at their door, the love of God shows up too.  The best of people comes out after tragedy. Our compassion, love and giving hearts help us to become what God intended. If you stop and think for a moment, I am positive you can think of a handful of incidents within your community where the people of God joined together in love.

I still don’t know why bad things happen to good people. I don’t know why bad things happen at all. I just rely on the fact that God knows exactly what He’s doing.