When bad things happen to good people

It is not the first time I have seen it happen, or even the tenth, but it has happened again. I have reconnected with several people in this world, whom I thought, “I wonder what on earth happened to them after that horrible incident, accident, death or wrong-doing? When a trial becomes a blessing, it not only blows my mind, but it stands as a monument to the world, that yes, bad things do happen to good people, but watch what happens when bad things happen to good people.

Scott was a young, athletic soccer player for Tennessee Temple University when my late husband and I were in school. One day he asked God to change his life: “I want what you want, God, even if that means the loss of my legs.”

Though he did not really know “where that came from, he knew he wanted to be used for God no matter what the cost. The very next day he and some other college students were hiking and Scott fell over a cliff. He immediately could not move his legs, and “knew.” He became a beacon around campus. He came back and purchased his first wheelchair and began his senior year, met his future wife, and began his ministry traveling and speaking.

It was an amazing experience to hear Scott preach and sing in our chapel services. He sang, “I’ve been through a fire.” That was in the early ’80s. So many years have passed and I’d often wondered what ever happened to Scott and Sandy. I searched Facebook and found Scott is pastoring a church in Georgia with his beautiful wife and son by his side!

He has served God all these years and yes, he is still in a wheelchair. No miracle happened to change that, but see, here’s the miracle. God made that horrendous experience a blessing to the world.

Does he suffer? I’m sure everyday, as you and I can only imagine, but God is working for good that which could have destroyed most young and athletic men. Scott’s attitude and abandonment to God has served as a light to scores of Christians and I am sure brought many folks who did not know the Lord to come to know Him.

Scott says that Sandy is the hero in his story as she has been a support, nurse, companion, friend, encourager,and on and on. Amazingly,. I have been so blessed to get to see the continuation of their story and how God gave them a baby boy through adoption some 25 years ago. It was a wonderful story of how Graham came into their lives. Yet, several months ago, Scott and Sandy announced that Graham had went home to be with his Lord. A parent’s worst nightmare is the loss of their child. Yet, they are still clinging. Sometimes that is all we can do: cling tenaciously to our Lord. Bad things do happen to good people.

Another friend, Ellen, became a blessing to me when my husband died suddenly. She came and held me as I wept the day after he died. I knew she knew. She was only in her thirties, and had been widowed twice. She encouraged me along the way while I finished my degree at Tennessee Temple, but then I graduated, and I always wondered what happened to Ellen, her daughter and her stepsons. Yes, again on Facebook, we have reconnected. Amazing tool, Facebook. Ellen is now married and enjoying grandbabies, serving God and showing the world, that yes, bad things happen to good people, but God’s work goes on.

I also watched as one of my best friends lost her spouse to suicide and then watched as God brought healing and new life back to her. She went on and God enabled her to go back to school and earn her degree, remarry a fine Christian man, and now she is enjoying grandbabies and living her dream of a country life.

What is it in your life that you feel is “killing you?” I am here to tell you that though God may allow hurt to come into your life, He will never, ever harm you. He will take the most wicked thing and turn it around and make good come of it. Only He could do that. He will enable you to go on when you feel you have no strength left to give. He will make your trial a blessing though it sends you to your knees. He will give you beauty for ashes (Isaiah 61:3 – my life’s verse). The only thing we need to remember is to offer this thing, this situation, this hard time, this loss to God. Giving it to God as an offering is what He desires. Turning to God and not from him allows him to work freely and wondrously in his own time and in his own way. Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you a hope and a future.”

Kimberly Morgan, MA, is a wife, mom, and Grief Counselor. To contact her: kimberlymorganma@yahoo.com or follow her on twitter: kimmorgan63.