Why do bad things happen to good people? Have you ever wondered? “God is faithful,” St. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 10:13. “And He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation He will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” Indeed. But sometimes just barely. Think back on your own life stories, or perhaps the life stories of others you've known or heard of: a mother who lost her daughter and a grandchild at once. A wife whose husband died suddenly leaving her with three children to raise. A fifteen year old struck with leukemia, a young man paralyzed in a car accident, a classroom full of kindergartners massacred, an earthquake killing over 100,000 men, women, and children within seconds...
We often get lost in the thought that sin means only bad things that we do. While it is true that sins are actions we take that break the Ten Commandments, those actual sins are caused by something deeper in each of us, something that has infected not only our souls but the entire world and everything in it, sin itself: original sin. Not only are our hearts sinful as the result of this original sin, but nature itself is sinful. It is other than it ought to be. Tornadoes, hurricanes, and earthquakes are fatal. Crops fail. Animals kill us, viruses spread with plagues, droughts run as rampant as floods, icy temperatures leave us frozen while hot temperatures leave us dying of heat stroke. It's power frightens us, as well it should, so we strive to control it. We pave over grass with freeways and sidewalks and put buildings up where trees once were. We build levies and dykes, we put up snow fences and dig storm cellars.
But no matter how far down we dig, no matter how high our levies are, no matter who we are, when a fault of nature decides crumble, there is just no stopping it. Nature isn't just wildlife. Our bodies are tainted by original sin, too. We were never meant to grow old, get sick, or die, but our bodies wear out after about 80 years (some much sooner than that) and we are by no means healthy the whole way through. We have aches, pains, and malfunctions God never intended. We are so intricately and wonderfully made, so strong and resilient, and yet so incredibly fragile, and so we do our best to control that, too. Organ transplants, radiation, ventilators, amputations, brain surgery, pill on top of pill, I.V. on top of I.V.... But no matter how often we exercise, no matter what kinds of medicine we take, no matter who we are, when too much of our body is damaged, nothing we can do will stop death.
Knowing that it's sin that doesn't care is a small comfort when it's your house that's flooded, or your body that's giving out, or your daughter who's died. But it is a huge comfort to know that God does care, so much in fact that, "He gave is one and only Son, so that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16) Because God saves as indiscriminately as sin hurts, no matter who we are. Click here to find the way of escape He has provided for you.
Suggested verse to repeat if when sin wages war on you is from 1 Corinthians 10:13
PRC buddies, remember to breathe!
"He will provide the way -------> 5 count inhale
of escape." -------> 5 count exhale