(I have to give credit where credit is due. I read a post in Desiring God recently after the death of a friend and the inspiration for what follows came from that post.)
A friend and former bandmate passed away recently. At the visitation with former members of the band, we talked about the times we shared, the funny stories, (the not so funny when the wheel came off the van somewhere in North Dakota) and the bond of friendship and brotherhood that was forged by the good times and bad times while traveling many miles together on the road.
But the one thing we did not talk about was why?
Our friend had suffered setbacks with his health over the past few months but you would never have known. His posts on Facebook were upbeat and positive even when referring to losing his leg because of the illness.
He was well known in the music community and a popular local radio personality even broadcasting his morning radio show live from a rehabilitation facility. He continued to live life doing what he always did and only those close knew how sick he really was.
But still the question that remains when death and other tragedies come is why? Sometimes we know the reason and can make sense of the circumstances but that does not always answer the question.
Why do children innocent and precious die from horrible diseases like leukemia which recently took the life of a co-workers ten year old son.
Why do the defenseless in our society suffer sexual and physical abuse at the hands of those who should protect them?
Why do people die of cancer and other horrible evil diseases that show no discrimination of age, gender, ethnicity or religion?
Why do those who have so much to offer, who give of themselves unselfishly like my friend and others die long before their time?
Sometimes when the evil, disease, and death crowd me and seem to defy the promise of God’s goodness, I remind myself, life is hard but God is good.
It is not a question of whether God is good or not, but a reminder that this life is not as it should be.
It is hard, it is heartbreaking, sometimes it makes no sense.
Things are not right.
Cancer, leukemia, diabetes, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and all the other life destroying, life taking diseases along with poverty and injustice and lack are reminders that we live in a fallen world.
Things are not as they should be.
But even though the presence of all those things suggest otherwise God remains good.
And the bad news makes the good news so much better.
For those who are taken before their time it is not the end.
For those who continue to suffer life better days are ahead.
And for all of us it is also a reminder that one day all the wrong, the suffering, the pain and death will be no more.
Our experiences here on Earth no matter how good they may be or how bad they may get serve to remind that trust in God for redemption and better days ahead will not go unrewarded.
I remember the words to a song by Andre Crouch that I heard so many years ago
“Through it all, through it all, I learned to trust in Jesus, I learned to trust in God.”
And we can trust that even though life is hard God is good. Always.