A number of years ago, in another appointment, I received a phone call telling me that the daughter of one of my congregational members had burned to death in an automobile accident. The devastating news needed to be delivered to her mother. Could I do it? Forty-Five minutes later I stood at the front door of the mother, who had just buried her husband a few months before, hesitantly preparing to ring the door bell and deliver the bad news. After the initial shock, the question, “Why?” was repeated over and over again. I had no answers. The only comfort I could bring was a prayer and my presence.
So often in these kinds of situations, because we don’t know what to say, we say the wrong thing. We say things like, “it must have been God’s will,” or “everything happens for a reason.” As a pastor, I can find no reason why a vibrant young woman should die in a fiery car crash. Saying, “everything happens for a reason,” is not only cruel but theologically and Biblically misguided.
So why do bad things happen and can there be any good or meaning to come from them? I will attempt to answer these questions this Sunday as we begin our new series based on Adam Hamilton’s book, Half Truths: God Helps Those Who Help Themselves and Other Things the Bible Doesn’t Say. More books have ordered and should be available in our Food for thought bookstore this Sunday if you have not already purchased one. I hope to see you in worship this Sunday and every Sunday during this series.