When Bad Things Happen

Written by Lu Emily

When the world is dangerous, seek God’s safety and peace. Connect to the shelter in the storm. Zephaniah 2:3 – “Seek the Lord, all you humble of the land, you who do what He commands. Seek righteousness, seek humility; perhaps you will be sheltered on the day of the Lord’s anger.”

Back in December, Pastor Tony said something in one of his sermons that has remained with me: There is never a good time for bad things. There is never a good time for someone to die. There is never a good time for a pandemic or a tornado or a fire that kills. There is never a good time for a loved one to be assaulted or a child to be tortured by a parent who should love him instead.

Since Adam and Eve’s fall and expulsion from the Garden of Eden, the world has been dangerous. The first family had the first murder. You would think when there are less than half a dozen people on the earth that murder wouldn’t happen. Yet Adam and Eve felt the loss of two sons—one in death and one who would be forever estranged. There were no winners and no peace in those moments.

In 1996, we lost our youngest child in an accident in the blink of an eye, doing a family activity at home. She was two. I thought my life was over. Through it all—through Stat Flight taking her to Kosair Children’s Hospital, calling my husband at work and asking him to meet me at the hospital, telling our parents and two older daughters she wasn’t coming home—I was tortured. I was sure Jeff wouldn’t forgive me for losing one of our children on my watch. It was a slap in the face to see our five and three-year-old daughters realize Mommy and Daddy couldn’t always protect them. I felt so powerless.

I was mad at myself because I didn’t do the one thing I should have done: I never once prayed to God to save her. I used to beat myself up over that. But in those days, I was the one who needed saving. She was already safe. Even though I believed in God, and I was saved in the sense of having accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior, I was not humble enough to realize how much I needed Him in all aspects of my life.

Nothing is more humbling than finding out just how powerless we are to stop bad things. That accident awakened me to my need for God. Casey’s short little life—and her death—have shaped how I view the world and where I look for peace and safety. Those things come from God, and we come to Him by being humble. Humility is letting God be God of our lives. Anytime we take control and try to run the show, then we are not humble.

Right now, the world lacks humility. Throwing tantrums on airplanes, yelling at customer service staff, fighting over COVID-19 responses, letting differences of opinions ruin relationships, engaging in road rage, or just cursing under your breath at the driver in front of you—it all comes from a lack of humility. When people treat personal desires as rights, they act like others don’t matter. This is not humility, and it is not loving others as God loves them. Any lack of humility is a form of hate and pride.

As long as we don’t humble ourselves and seek God with our whole hearts, bad things will increasingly continue to happen, and honestly, we’ll be doing some of them. That is a daily struggle for all of us. Sometimes there are still areas of my life that I don’t give Him. Or I start listening to my self-opinion more than I’m listening to God’s thoughts. But the truth is, there is no peace or safety apart from God.

Instead of demanding what we want, let us humble ourselves and ask what He wants. Because the only way to change a world full of pain and turmoil is to wholeheartedly turn to God.

3 Responses to “When Bad Things Happen”

  1. Kara says:

    Please accept my deepest sympathies on the loss of your youngest daughter. You have written a heartfelt blog that will give direction and help bring healing to others. Thank you & God’s blessings on your family.

  2. Jenell Jacks says:

    Treating personal desires as rights… yes. Your blog touched me. Thank you.

  3. Diane says:

    First sentence, last paragraph: Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Thanks for your blog.

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