Have you ever had the experience that life was cruising along pretty well when out of the blue something big hits you and your world is turned upside down?
It has happened to me more than once, and the feeling is horrible. You know, when that sense of peace and comfort evaporates immediately, and we are left with that indescribable "sick" feeling in our gut.
My brother who had a tremendous battle against cancer almost a year ago, and who has been in recovery, received some bad news yesterday. The bad news is that they found a "Lump." It might be nothing and additional test have been ordered, but as I can imagine, his world has been turned upside down once again.
So what do we do when our security, our peace, and our comfort is ripped away from us? Where do we turn when we are sickened with fear? What is the first step to take when we want to understand what we can't understand?
Some will turn to science or to experts to shed some light onto a particular subject or issue.
Some will turn to friends to find comfort and understanding.
Some will approach God.
My experience is usually that the immediate shock has the greatest force. The immediate turn of events often leaves us somewhat paralyzed. Even a short amount of time seems to take some of the edge off the severity of the issue. Not that the issue, or the problem has changed in any way, but our perception of the immediacy has changed somewhat. Once the immediate shock on the news has had some time to resonate, and even dissipate, our ability to think abstractly returns, our creativity returns, our reason returns.
Why does God allow these horrible things to happen?
Great question, and if I were God I would tell you exactly why. But, I am Not God!
I do realize that God looks at us and the world much differently than we do. He can see the whole picture and doesn't need to be reminded that this world is not the "end all" of our life, nor our purpose.
What I mean is that this world is only a blink of an eye in relation to our longevity. And even if an individual has what appears to be an extended suffering, it is minute in relation to their existence of eternity. This period of life here on earth is a period of growth through experiences, trials, obstacles, and even temptations. We are being prepared, taught, even pruned from time to time to become what we were created to be.
As I mentioned previously, I cannot speak for God, nor would ever want to even attempt. But I do believe that God either wills things to happen or allows things to happen, either way, has His hand inn everything. And everything has a purpose in life. What is that purpose? It is to grow in virtue, to grow in love, to grow in faith, to grow in forgiveness, to grow in compassion, etc., etc., etc.
We will not know the reason for so much in our lives until that day that the veil of human limitation is lifted from our being and we can see the beatific vision, we can see life and God for who he really is. But for now, we are to love Him, serve Him, trust Him, and persevere so we can be with Him in this world and with him forever in heaven.