Why do bad things happen? why edited

Ever wonder that? I would venture to say most of us have probably asked that at one time or another. Something out of the blue may happen in our day, and we ask “WHY??” I had a couple of these experiences just this afternoon. If you have a moment, I’ll give you the highlights…

My plan after my Bible study meeting this morning was to spend the afternoon writing and catching up on things at home. But God presented me with other plans when my daughter texted me, saying she wanted to see me.

Whoa! “What!? She wants to see me?” I couldn’t turn my vehicle around fast enough to head back in the opposite direction to pick her up. I let her choose our lunch destination, and we enjoyed a wonderful meal together at one of her favorite restaurants. It was a refreshing time, catching up on her life.

We paid our bill, and I reached to grab my coat which was nudged between me and the wall of the booth we were sitting in. As I did, a speck on the wall moved. I examined it a little more closely, and it was a bug that I was trained to spot in my previous employment. It looked like a bed bug.

Yes. A. Bed. Bug. Friends, they aren’t just part of some bedtime saying… they are real and they FREAK ME OUT! Truth be told, I fear them, and because of this fear, our family has gone to great lengths to do what we can to NEVER bring them into our home. (And I seriously pray daily for God to protect us from them. Seriously!)

You should have seen us. We couldn’t get out of there fast enough. As we walked out the door, carrying out coats in this single-digit-temperature weather, we were brushing ourselves off from head to toe. I’m sure this sight was something to take in. (On a side note, please don’t ask me where we were, as I don’t want to cause any problems for this restaurant. Proper procedures were followed on my part.)

As we drove down the road, that little bug was all I could think about. The plan was to throw all of the clothing on our backs, plus our coats, in our clothes dryers as soon as we walked in the doors of our homes to kill any critter that might have attached itself to any piece of them. “Please, Lord, no.”

After dropping my daughter off, I worked my way towards home. At a stoplight, preparing to move forward as it turned green, the car in front of me decided to stop in the middle of the intersection. I stopped too, but the little white car behind me didn’t. I didn’t see it coming, but sure felt the hit. And heard the terrible, familiar sound of car pieces exploding apart. The car ahead sped off, and the girl in the little white car and I were in the middle of the intersection together. This car didn’t stand a chance with my SUV.

“Seriously, God? Really? A bed bug… and now this?” I took a deep breath, pulled over to the side of the road and parked. The white car followed. And I thought, “I can either honor God with this experience, or I can choose not to.” I chose the former.

Pieces of white car exterior, black grill chunks, and headlight slivers were strewn all over the road, and on the top of my back bumper. My heart went out to this young girl as she tried to talk between her tears. Come to find out, she knows my daughter, and unbelievably to me, we were able to establish a common bond quickly.

She and I talked while waiting in my warm vehicle (remember I wasn’t wearing my coat because of the bug), I did what I could to encourage her and affirm her, and we even were able to share a couple of laughs. My SUV didn’t go unscathed, as the bumper was pretty banged up, but thankfully after the police’s arrival and filling out paperwork, I was back on the road in less than 45 minutes. She, however, stayed there with her arriving sister and the police officer to wait for the tow truck to arrive.

Why do these not-so-pleasant situations happen? Why?? I thought about that long and hard as I drove home in silence. I don’t have the answer. I guess only God knows. He must have allowed these two experiences to happen for a reason. Maybe I was to be the one to let the restaurant know of the bug issue since I know what they look like. Maybe God had me be there in that accident to encourage this girl. Really though, I don’t know. I can speculate until the cows come home, and still be wrong.

But what I will do is stand on what I do know… the truth that God is in control. Even in these kinds of situations. Even though they aren’t pleasant. And even though they interrupt my plans for the day, I can continue to trust Him through them. And I will.

Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Proverbs 3:5-6 The Message

The young girl in the white car and I texted each other earlier tonight, and we both seem to be okay. I’m thanking God for that tonight, as well as for His protection, His provision, and for guiding me through both of these situations. (I’m also thankful for our dryer, as I ran my clothes through to protect our home from a possible bug!) And as we work through the details of the damage of our vehicle, I will continue to trust that God knows what He is doing.

And if you ever encounter a not-so-pleasant situation in your day, and you find yourself asking “Why??”, may you be encouraged by Proverbs 3:5-6. Drive safely out there, friends!

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