Yesterday, I read a message from a man who runs an amazing ministry in Honduras called the Jeremiah 29:11 Mission. He basically takes in orphans that even the locally run orphanages refuse to take. He shared a story about a girl he received yesterday. In the message he writes:
“Katerin, is 15 years old and tattooed up. Musical notes on the fingers of one hand, a small heart on her pinky on the other hand, initials of an old boyfriend on the ankle, a marijuana plant and the word marijuanera, a female smoker on her stomach. From her story, I think She was trying to get in with a bad group. I am not real clear on that. A group of men gang raped her and threw her off a bridge and left her for dead. The bridge is a regular location for killings “by the fall”. She says she knew of 4 other people that had been thrown from the bridge and died. In December, she could walk, use the bathroom, play the guitar and have conversation. She can do none of that now and will require much physical therapy and the amount of recovery is unknow. The truth is, much of her future is unknown. She is totally and utterly lost in the world with no place to go. She didn’t talk about her parents but she said they did not want her.”
Her parents did not want her. Why is that? Was she too bad for them? Were they disappointed in her poor choices? Could it be they just couldn’t afford to clothe and feed her? As a parent myself, I have a hard time wrapping my head around this one. Never, could I walk away from my child. NEVER! But I live in a very different world that Katerin and her parents.
Whatever the reason they didn’t want her, it is clear to me that Katerin sought acceptance, love, and attention…and the only place she found it was in a rough crowd. A crowd that eventually tried to kill her.
One day she is a functioning teenager who loved to play the guitar, and today she can’t move. Nobody knows what her future holds.
I find myself wondering what is she thinking today? Does she feel abandoned by God? We know that she clearly felt abandoned by her family, and obviously the crowd she was running with threw her off of a bridge and left her to die. How does a 15 year old recover from that. Yes, eventually her physical wounds will heal, but how does one recover mentally? spiritually?
Some not of faith might say “This is proof there is no god….If god really existed, he would have stopped it”
I get that statement…I mean, I don’t BELIEVE that statement, but I get why people THINK that way.
I do not know why God allowed her to be thrown over a bridge and left to die in a ditch all alone, but what I do know is that God was with her every moment. He cried when she cried. He cried when He saw what His sons were doing to His daughter. It broke His heart.
The Bible reassures me that God wasn’t just sitting back on His throne looking down and laughing, saying “this is what ya get…” No. He cried!
Ezek 18:32 “For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies,” declares the Lord God.
God allows things to happen for His reasons, whether or not we understand them. He never asked us to understand. He just asked us to trust in Him, and above all, we must remember that God is good, just, loving, and merciful. Often things happen to us that we simply cannot understand. However, instead of doubting God’s goodness, our reaction should be to trust Him. ”Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
Why do bad things happen to Good People? That is a simple question to answer….None of us are good. I am sorry if you are hearing it here for the first time but you are not good…I am not good….Nobody is good.
The Bible makes it abundantly clear that we are all tainted by and infected with sin (Ecclesiastes 7:20; Romans 3:23; 1 John 1:8). Romans 3:10-18 could not be clearer about the non-existence of “good” people: “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one. Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit. The poison of vipers is on their lips. Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and misery mark their ways, and the way of peace they do not know. There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
WOW…I don’t think I liked reading that this morning. In fact, I KNOW I don’t like reading that…..I may even think to myself:
yeah, ok…whatever…..that doesn’t apply to me…afterall, I am a nice person, I care about others, I work in Ministry…clearly I am good..I serve people, I give away money, I tithe,…so I am exempt from this passage, right??
BUBBLE BUSTER!!! Really? I am not good? OUCH!!
Here is the hard reality of that verse: We all deserve to be thrown into hell at this very moment. Every second we spend alive is only by the grace and mercy of God. Even the most terrible misery we could experience on this planet is merciful compared to what we deserve, eternal hell in the lake of fire.
Yes, sometimes bad things happen to people who seem undeserving of them. But God allows things to happen for His reasons, whether or not we understand them. He did not ask me or you to understand why things happen. What He did as is the we TRUST in Him and remember that He is good ALL THE TIME. He is just, loving, and merciful…ALL THE TIME!
Yes, there will be things that happen to us that we simply cannot understand. However, instead of doubting God’s goodness, our reaction should be to trust Him. ”Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
It is my prayer that something GREAT will come from Katerin’s tragedy. Maybe she will a witness for Christ that she couldn’t have been when she was running with a rough crowd. Maybe through her tragedy, somebody will ready this note and their heart will be softened, changed, or stirred to serve and make a difference.
Maybe her story will touch the heart of somebody who feels compelled to become a life changer.
We may never see what God has planned in this situation. It may be generations past before His plan is fully revealed. No matter the time table, I just have to remember God has a plan…and He is Good….ALL THE TIME…..even when bad things happen.
RIGHT TURN MINISTRIES will be serving at the Jer 29:11 Mission in July. If you would like to help support our work there, please
consider donating some much needed supplies to the 50 children (ages 0-20)
Tshirts, shoes, flip flops, underwear, small games/toys.
email: info@rightturnministries if you want to learn more on how to help Chuck and his Mission.