Updated: Jul 23, 2022
Written on 10/18/21
Event Date 8/31/21
Why do bad things happen? Why do bad things happen to good people? Why is it always me? Why is it constant? Why do these things just keep happening? Why now? Why this? Why? Why? Why?
Believe it or not, I may have an answer to all these questions. You may not like the answer, you may not believe the answer, you may even reject the answer, but I believe it to be true. Ready?
It’s not always about you. Ouch, Words Can Hurt. Here’s a true story that brought me to this conclusion seven weeks after the event. On Monday August 30th in the year 2021 I read a passage and it went like this:
Romans 8:26 In the same way the Spirit also helps us in our weakness, because we do not know what to pray for as we should, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with inexpressible groanings. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because he intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
Groanings: To voice a deep, inarticulate sound, as of pain, grief, or displeasure, to make a sound expressive of stress or strain.
So the Holy Spirit intercedes with sounds? What?! So all those times I thought I was living in a horror movie because the floorboards creaked, it was the Lord telling me to turn the filth off?! How many times when you know you’re doing something you’re not supposed to be doing and then you hear a sound and go, “Hello?”? A huge rush through my bones realizing that so much of my fear was just Casper. Cool, cool, cool.
The following day I read some of Deuteronomy, cleaned the apartment, worked out with a girlfriend, and came home to make banana bread. I love banana bread, don’t you? There I go again, day one of Carrot exile and I’m in reverie wondering if I’m going to bake for him. Does he like banana bread? Does he know that when I’m sad he’s going to have to make me banana bread, or go get froyo, or just give me money for shoes? Or.. AHHH!
The phone rang with the volume on full and I almost peed my pants. It’s my cousin, once removed and forever in my heart, and she tells me to shove the bread in the oven and let’s go hike the hills now! She’s demanding like that. I’m sore from working out with my girlfriend, but he apparently intercedes with sounds so… get to stepping. As we make it over the first hump I ask her if she believes that I know my Carrot is coming, she says yes! Yay! I got one believer! I keep it vague because I understand that blessings have to be kept safe, guard your heart, guard your goat, guard your carnal treasure.
Honk! Honk! Thank God for that interceding sound, it’s our other cousin passing by, most likely returning from our aunt and uncle's house on the other side of the grove. As we reach our limit since I have banana bread in the oven we turn around and head back. As we come to the dip of the next hill we see our cousin’s car stalled on the side of the road. Since we’re high on endorphins now, we make a rescue chant like little superheroes and sprint to her car. If only we had capes.
She’s crying, no idea why the car stopped, she has to be somewhere in 20 minutes and we all know too well what she faces if she’s late. That’s ok, deep breaths, let’s plan this out. The first cousin receives a call from a sponsee so she has to take it to help that woman off the edge. My house is not far, if we run I can lend her my car, I’ll take out the banana bread, and wait for AAA. Ready, set, go! As we get closer to my house, my cousin just breaks down. “Why? Why are bad things always happening to me all the time?”
She caught her husband cheating at the beginning of the pandemic, heartbroken went on disability and got ridiculed for it, the other woman moved in to the ex’s house, the kids were subjected to a relationship that was beyond their understanding, nasty battle of assets, and only finalized the divorce five days prior to this event. She’s survived. She has scars. In the sadness of her moment I offered a word of a possible solution that I heard from the Celebrate Recovery speaker at the Bridge to answer these questions we’ve all had at one point or another.
“Maybe it’s so you can turn your mess into a message? Maybe it’s not about you? Maybe bad things keep happening until you find the ultimate Counselor? Maybe you’re being built for the next generation? Maybe this set back is like in archery, the arrow has to be pulled back to launch forward?”
I pass off my car, she dries her tears, I pull out the banana bread, turn off the oven, call AAA since my other cousin is still on the phone being a rescuer, and I head back to the broke down car. We waited about an hour for the tow truck and I have to say Santa Rosa, well done! About five gentlemen, young men, like brand new drivers, stopped to offer assistance to a couple of hot mess women. Each one showing kindness and offering their knowledge, well done parents! Unfortunately, the car was dead-dead, so we had to wait for the tow truck.
I listen as my cousin shares her past that I also know all too well with her sponsee. Her memory lane sucks as she’s battled with alcoholism, losing her kids, felony on her record, and broken hearts like the rest of us. You’d never know seeing her now. She has her kids 50/50 again for the first time in years, she’s healthy, sober, a steward to a successful business, and her advice is always spot on. She’s survived. She has scars and she helps others with their scars. She is a beautiful creature, a mother of nature, a giver, and her strength is out of this world. Well done love, well done.
Frustrated at the lack of service on my phone when my cousin seems to have perfect clarity, I take it out on Miguel. "Ugh, I can’t hear you, I’m sorry, just look for the broke down car." At this point our endorphins are depleting. My cousin lives close so she takes off for the night and I ride back with Miguel to the mechanic shop. I immediately apologized to Miguel for my frustrated tone earlier and he very sweetly cleaned out his car for me to sit. Asking great customer service questions, but also ginuwine about it, thank you! He asks what happened and I start from the beginning…
Talk about the right place, at the right time, with the right people. Timing is everything. Miguel is on the edge of his seat hearing this story and comments how joyful I become realizing its design. Miguel waits with me while my neighbor who called me to see if I wanted to come over for dinner comes to get me. “Dinner? Sure, can you come get me please?” I am blessed with good people all around me. I realize Miguel and the ex from earlier have the same name meaning, Who is like God? I begin to share a little about the Lord and ask him to think a little bit deeper about what’s going on in today’s world. He was amazing and made the night complete with his rescue.
Did all of this happen for Miquel? For that moment? Hearing my cousin share her message to help someone, sharing with one cousin what the speaker shared with me at church, sharing with Miguel his perfect timing to help those in need, sharing with my neighbor the amazing turn of events, praying with her at the end of the night? Is that what all of this is about? Sharing the Good news?!
Did you know that there are ninety-nine variations of the word ‘endure’ in the Bible? Are we scarred /skäh-rd/ by design on purpose? Do bad things happen to good people to reach the sheep astray? Does it have to be that way or are we just not paying attention? If we approach these scenarios with attitudes of why Lord, show me the reason, where’s the sheep? Am I the sheep? Do the bad things even have to be bad? Is it our perspective? Are the teachings in the Bible literal signs to navigate the energy of this world to be co-productive with his plan in aiding and assisting the lost even if we're the ones lost?
Proverbs 29:19 “A servant cannot be disciplined by words; though he understands, he doesn’t respond.” We go through hard times if we aren’t learning his ways. What is it going to take to get us to respond? I guess the only way to find out is to pick up the book and find out for ourselves. In the meantime, I’ll focus on my endurance and stop being so counterproductive with Yeshua.
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