Bad things shouldn’t happen to good people. Only good things should happen to good people. It seems only fair, right? But that’s not the reality we have here on earth.
For a long time in my Christian walk, this bothered me, because I felt that it wasn’t right and that they shouldn’t happen, not when there is a fair and just God in heaven.
I had a long list of questions: If God loves us, why should we experience any negative situation? Since He is all powerful, why didn’t He prevent them from happening? Why aren’t believing Christians cocooned from all the evil in this world? Isn’t this what it means to be blessed?
I recently started reading the whole Bible again and I have just finished the book of Genesis, which has a roll call of many beloved Patriarchs. I was reminded that they had major issues in their lives and even suffered what we might call tragedy.
Noah lost his extended family. That couldn’t have been easy. And starting afresh as the only small group of humans in a new world couldn’t have been a walk in the park.
Abraham was childless for years and years. And he was a nomad. And he lost his first son and couldn’t even provide for him adequately. Then he transferred his ‘blessedness’ to his son, Isaac.
Isaac didn’t have children for almost 20 years. He was deceived by his wife and son. He was tormented by his daughters in law. Then he had to say goodbye to one of his sons for 20 years because the other one was going to kill him.
Jacob ran from home with the clothes on his back. He slaved for 20 years. He was cheated over and over again by his uncle. His favourite wife was childless for a long time and later died in childbirth. His daughter was raped. He lost his favourite son through the animosity of his other sons and grieved for years. Joseph was sold into slavery by his own brothers and dehumanized. He was put in prison unfairly.
And what shall we say about the Apostles and early Christians that we met in the Gospels and the Epistles? Their lives were not rosy. Far from it.
Yet, the Bible calls them blessed. In fact, many of them had direct encounters with God where He kept telling them He was with them. Yet, to look at them, we would doubt their blessedness.
Are we missing something here? What does it mean to be blessed?
I’m beginning to see that we are blessed when we have the Blessing. Not because we do not have troubles. Our blessedness is in the fact that we have the real treasure – The love of God the Father, the grace of our Lord, Jesus Christ and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.
I’m beginning to see that being blessed doesn’t mean you will not have troubles. It means that God will always be with you, even when you have troubles.
I’m beginning to see that if you do happen to have an idyllic, trouble-free life and you do not have the real Blessing, you cannot be blessed.
Yes, as Jesus said, we will have troubles in this world. But it doesn’t mean we are not blessed. To think we will be cocooned from negative experiences is to set ourselves up for disappointment that may even shipwreck our trust and faith in God’s love for us.
He Himself has said He will never leave us nor forsake us. So, until we get to our eternal home where only good things happen to good people, let us appreciate and magnify the real Blessing that we have.