The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. Psalm 145:8.
I love the praise and worship song that refers to this verse.
All sin and fall sort of the Glory of God - When I was choosing a YouTube video for this song, I noticed that people were compassionately trying to answer the questions that arise from a verse like this. If the Lord is gracious, compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love, why do “good” people and children die or are killed in natural disasters.
This world is sinful. Many people will not agree with me that we are all born sinners, because this earth was tainted when Eve and Adam first sinned. But you need to know that is where I start my position for my beliefs. That we are all sinful and fall short of the Glory of God. (Gen 8:21; Romans 3:23; Ecc 7:20; Romans 3:9)
I don’t deserve compassion – I deserve death
In the Bible we are told that the wages of sin are death.
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23
I am sinful from birth because my mother and father are sinful. It’s like a hereditary disease that started with Adam and Eve. I am always going to fall short without the power of Christ’s sacrifice to pay for my sins. But because of that promise, I know that the Lord wants one thing for me ultimately – to end up with Him in heaven.
So why do bad things happen to good people?
I believe it is because everything on this earth is tainted by sin. That all this entire earth deserves is death and destruction. It is by the grace and mercy (being slow to anger) from God that we live with as much certainty and stability as we do.
So what about the little babies that die?
This is a good question, and one that is not clearly answered in the Bible (it doesn’t say “The babies who die in abortion, miscarriage or before the age of ten will be spared). Yet I trust in the concept that my God is slow to anger and rich in love. Therefore I believe that He will do what is right, and I believe he is going to linger in grace and mercy for those children. I don’t know that this is Biblical, but it is what I believe. This is what I cling to for my unborn child that I miscarried.
God wants us with Him in heaven.
As a I believe that I deserve death for being sinful, I also know that I live in grace. I have not gotten the death and destruction I deserve. In the year 2001 (ten years ago already) my husband went to the Middle East with the Air Force. Last time he was there, he was in the Middle East, I thought I had nearly lost him in a bombing orchestrated by Osama Bin Laden. So I wasn’t thrilled that he was returning, but it was his job and his duty.
So there I was with my twin boys who were two years old. Making a go of it. I worked part-time at a school as an aid in the computer lab, and the boys attended day care during that time. It was such a blessing for me, as I didn’t have a lot of time away from them when my husband was gone, and I was getting worn out.
Then September 11th happened
I’m not trying to compare my pain to the pain of those who lost someone on that day. It was awful. But like the many other Americans reliving it by the minute on the television, I became very sad. I was certain that my husband would not be returning from the Middle East any time soon, because they would be starting a war. My boys may have fed off the strange energy in the house and the tone of the television broadcasts I was watching, but they no longer wanted to sleep. They wouldn’t go to bed before 10 and I wanted to go to sleep at 8 or 9. I was emotionally and physically exhausted.
The Spa can fix anything
During this time, there was a Friday night when I was watching television. I had the sudden thought that I needed to call an ambulance, but I didn’t. I started to assess myself and this urge. I had numbness and tingling down my entire left side. Then I realized I didn’t know what a toilet was called. I knew what you did there, but the word toilet was completely erased from my mind. So what to do? I decided to write an email for work. Yep that’s right – your brain isn’t working – perfect time to write a work email. My friend Kara received that email and mentioned to me that it seemed a bit strange. I had used homophones for many of the words. This was all very concerning. So the next morning I did what any girl would do; I went to the Spa. I had a full spa day planned (as a retreat from the stresses of raising twin 2 year olds on your own – any excuse is viable), and I was sure whatever was going on, a spa day couldn’t hurt.
Turns out it was more serious
After my spa day, my friend Kara and I had plans to go out. We did, but after we did, I called her again and we decided I needed to go to the ER and get checked out. They called the neurologist on call. Within a few months I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. I had a hard time for a while, and one day while making lunch for my boys, I got confused between the milk lid and the peanut butter lid. I didn’t know which one went on which container. I was freaking out. I started to sob. I yelled out to God – “What the hell? What am I supposed to do now?” I didn’t get an audible response, but I did suddenly feel reminded that this body is only temporary. I felt as if He reminded me that my eternal body in heaven would not be plagued with this disease. This sinful body is only temporary – my blessings would be in heaven. Then we danced. God and I danced in my kitchen, as I was assured of His everlasting love. He’s the best dancer ever!