Why Do Bad Things Happen To Good People?

by | Apr 22, 2021 | Prayer, Spirituality

Why do bad things happen to good people?  I have worked in church ministry for over twenty years, and this is the question that I have been asked several times within that ministry?  I know there are many articles and books written about this topic, but still the question remains.  In fact, I would be lying if I did not say that I was asking that same question right now in life!  Not about my own life…I feel incredibly blessed most days, even though my life is certainly not perfect, but about the life of one of my dearest friends.

Have you ever read the story of Job?  While I was in high school, I read that story and as a project my friends and I did a modern-day video of what Job’s life would look like today.  I could have never imagined living as the friend of the modern-day Job.  (As a sidenote, I promise to NEVER abandon my friend in her time of need!)  Sadly, for this friend and her husband it has been one thing after another!  First it was a cancer diagnosis for her father and his uncle, then it was a diagnosis of a rare chromosomal issue that was going to take the life of their third baby, then it was the birth of their fourth baby that was diagnosed with Noonan’s (as was their first child) whom has had complications with almost every possible thing he could.  This little hero of mine has heart issues, kidney issues, urology issues, growth issues, and much more…but he is the happiest baby I have ever met.  As a friend, (I will not tell her to curse God), but I do feel helpless.  I am left to wonder…Why God?  Why is my dear friend left with so much suffering?

In prayer, I ask God, why is my friend suffering so much?  How can I make this better for her and her husband?  Then I think to myself, “Is there really any answer that would make me look at the horrors and pains of her life and say, “Oh! OK! That makes it all better!”  No, there is absolutely nothing that would make it all better!  We will not be pacified by the answer of why someone hurts, but instead we may be calmed by how we help them carry that hurt.  The point is, I cannot take away her pain…but I can walk by her side and help her carry the pain.

Pain and suffering is part of life!  We will never have a perfect answer to why bad things happen to good people.  We cannot remove it because Adam and Eve ate the fruit from the tree and thus, allowed human nature to be imperfect…however, we can suffer with someone else.  Because Adam and Eve fell, God brought himself into our human world and through Him and His redemption we can certainly find strength to offer ourselves to suffer in union with others.

I think the point is not to solve why bad things happen to good people, but instead to accept that bad things will happen to good people and ask ourselves, “How will I help those I love survive the suffering they will endure?”  The beauty is we do not have to do this on our own…God wants us to join our suffering with Him and allow Him to walk by our sides…because truly sometimes the only way to go through the suffering is to walk straight through it!  May God, the author of peace, give us the peace and courage we need to endure this fallen life.

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Tara Brooke

Tara Brooke is a wife, mother, educator, and child of God.  Tara has worked in various aspects of ministry in the Catholic Church for over 20 years, her last years as a Director of Marriage and Family Life for her local diocese.  She now stays home and tends to the needs of her growing and beautiful family.  She has three biological children and two adopted children, both with Down Syndrome. She loves helping engaged couples grow in their understanding of the Sacrament of Marriage as well as helping enrich already married couples in growing in holiness together.  She resides in Bismarck, ND with her amazing husband, Deacon Dan! 

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