I believe that bad things happen to good people, but for good reason. I grew up with a family living next door to me that was the prime example of “good people”. They had four kids, were strong Christians, and always seemed very genuine. Two of their children, their youngest daughter and son, were born with a disease called Fanconi Anemia (FA). Kendal, the daughter, loved sports and often could not play because of the effect FA had on her, but she always seemed happy and in good spirits. Taylor was affected more severely, but grew up as one of the nicest and sweetest boys I had ever met. He was several years older than me and always came over on Friday afternoons to play and eat snack with my sisters and I. There were lots of things he couldn’t do like run, ride a bike, or attend normal classes at school, yet I never saw Taylor in a bad mood. He was happy, had great faith in the Lord, and loved everyone he knew. When Kendal was twenty and Taylor was eighteen, they both had to get a risky bone marrow transplant. Both kids went to the specialty hospitals with smiles on their faces. Kendal died shortly into the process. Taylor was in the hospital for nearly a year. He had his ups and downs. Through it all, he still smiled and laughed and kept his faith in the Lord, even at the very end when he also died.
After the loss of their two children, I watched their parents return heart broken. But they never stopped being the wonderful people they had always been, and they never lost faith in the Lord. Yes, everyone has hard times in their lives that they must push through, but it seems to happen most to the “good guys”. I don’t know why that happens. I suppose I believe so strongly about this because I think that perhaps the toughest challenges are handed to the people with the strongest faith. Only those people can make it through. And when they do, their suffering serves a higher purpose. As I watched my neighbors go through trial after trial and come out the other side still faithful, it served as an inspiration to me. When I see that someone can make it through something so much tougher than whatever I may be facing, and still come out with a smile, it serves to boost my faith. I cannot say whether it is really fair or right, only that it happens. I believe that bad things happen to good people for a good reason.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.