Tuesday, February 26, 2008

bad things, good people

ever since i was in grade 8 the question of "why do bad things happen to good people?" has resonated with me.

the easiest answer i ever received, the most understandable answer i ever got, was "because 6000 years ago two people ate a fruit that allowed them to judge good and evil, as a result the world, and the people in it, were broken, and separated from God"

yea, sweet. i get that. but what if there's more?

i was just lying down for a nap, and i got to thinking:

what if bad things happen to good people to make them better? what if 'good things' really aren't that good?

say i won a million dollars...wicked. i would probably become greedier, and more materialistic.

say my sister was killed by someone in hamilton, i would probably work towards creating a better hamilton, fueled by greater passion.

which one makes me a 'better person'?
a piece of scripture that's resonated with me lately is the part where jesus goes out to the desert. he spends forty days in the desert fasting, being tempted by satan. and after that, he leaves with greater stature and confidence. he leaves stronger, better in his faith.

my mom's had cancer since last march or so, and she's rapidly getting better. it's a crappy thing to go through, but she has so much more wisdom as a result. she is praying more, helping people more, learning that everything is a gift, and she loves jesus more than ever. her goal is to go back out and help anyone she can by sharing the story of what she went through. my mom got told she had at most 7 years to live in june, and now she's going to have a full recovery. life hurts, but it's making her better, it's refining her, the 'bad thing' that happened in her life, has made her a 'better person'.

jesus went in to the desert and endured great hardship, but in the process he was refined.
jesus endured more pain and suffering than anyone else, and yet, he was the only perfect person, the only pure person ever to live - granted, he was God in the flesh.

all of the disciples were persecuted, hung, crucified, hunted, put in jail, and they were better people for it.

what if bad things happen to make good people 'gooder'?
what if bad things happen to make us love more?

if i think about what has shaped me as a person, when i consider what has made me love harder, and brought me closer to God, i don't think of when i got my ps2 in grade 10, i think of the destructive relationship i used to have with my dad. i think about all the addictions i've fought, i think of all the times i cried, and realized that i should be screaming to God with all my heart the words "help me".

i think jesus is a lot more present in those times we cry out.

in fact, i think jesus takes those bad things, and redeems them.

what if we could learn from every bad thing that happens to us?
what if we could be a better person as a result?
what if we took every bad thing that's thrown at us, and said "jesus, take this, and make me better, take this, and make it yours, take me and make me more like you"?

i think we'd have a lot more truth.

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