About a month ago I broke my leg while in Orange County to celebrate my granddaughter Emma’s 16th birthday. Though I had had a knee replacement on the same leg 3 months before, I was well recovered from that and my slip on a steep driveway covered in leaves was just a simple mishap that could’ve happened to anyone.
Nonetheless, it does make you wonder why such a thing should happen!? Sometimes we may think that I was just going too fast in life and God wanted to slow me down! If that is the case, then mission accomplished, since I cannot walk or drive. I am slowed to a stop.
But the loving Father that I know does not trip his children and put them through pain, suffering, canceled vacations, and endless inconvenience just to teach them a lesson. We do not serve a punitive God. He is not just waiting for us to fail or fall short so that he can strike us down with some difficulty as a learning exercise.
In our desire to see the Lord at work in all things, perhaps we sometimes oversimplify?
I think rather the Bible teaches us that all through life both good and difficult things happen to all people. And all of them happen with God’s permission. We His children then have the opportunity to learn to trust God and be content in a new way, whether the thing that has happened is good or difficult.
If we see that God’s overall will for us, or the “why” of the things that happen to us, as always having a similar purpose then the events of life seem to come together and be part of a whole.
Why do things happen? What is the purpose of our lives? While we are here on earth, our lives are all about the business of becoming more like Jesus. And any circumstance will do to teach us about that, and how to trust our dear Lord in a deeper way.
For me, the emotional brokenness and learning curve of pain, discomfort, inconvenience, helplessness, anxiety, and disappointment over canceled plans and opportunities are plenty without wondering if God is trying to “teach me a lesson” in the corrective sense.
I can see the hand of a loving God in this fallen world where bad things happen all the time to everyone in redeeming this particular bad thing in my life. I have a choice as to whether my broken leg is a redemptive experience or just a terrible experience. I was recently reminded that these in-between times of life, in the space between what isn’t anymore and what is to come, can be when God does gritty, sanctifying work.
Please pray for me and for everyone in difficulty, that we will allow God to redeem our times of trial by drawing us closer to his dear self.
”Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4