When Bad Things Happen

Where is God when bad things happen?

We often wonder why God allows bad things to happen, sometimes even questioning if God cares at all about the evil things that happen to good people. Yet we forget that our God created us in such a way that we can freely return His love for us, and that in this freedom, we can even love others. We have all been given the freedom to do what we want, and to live our lives the way we please. The Lord lets us do drugs. He lets us be disrespectful to our parents, or cruel to those we decide are beneath us. He lets us avoid paying our taxes, or commit fraud for our own gain. God lets us avoid going to the services in our temples, while allowing us to choose partying with our friends on a Saturday night, over communing with our Creator God.

Our God allows us to spend all our time pursuing entertainment, and mindlessly focusing on social networking, to the exclusion of communing with Him. He lets us speed and cross the centerline into oncoming traffic, and although He doesn’t like it when we do, He refrains from forcing Himself on us.  He lets us make bad decisions, but is sad because He knows what will come of it.

Our God, Who is ever loving, caring, and compassionate, watches over each and every one of us. God even has hopes and plans for us just like our families do. But just like our earthly parents, He allows us to make our own choices on what we want to do, and, like our friends and families, is saddened when we make bad choices. Bad things happen, not because God doesn’t care, but because, in our free will, we, His creatures, make bad things happen by choosing  to do what we want, regardless of the consequences.

Finally, we live in a fallen world. This is not God’s doing, but our own. God did not create evil, we did, and the end result was that death entered our world. Christ came to destroy the power of death by His own death, and holy resurrection.

Love and blessings,
Abbot Tryphon

Photo: The Point Defiance Ferry to Vashon Island.

Tuesday March 6, 2018 / February 21, 2018
Third Week of the Great Lent. Tone six.
Great Lent. By Monastic Charter: Food without Oil

Venerable Timothy of Symbola in Bithynia (795).
St. Eustathius (Eustace), archbishop of Antioch (337).
New Hieromartyrs Alexander, Daniel and Gregory priests (1930).
New Hieromartyr Constantine priest, Paul deacon (1938).
Virgin-Martyr Olga (1938).
St. George, bishop of Amastris on the Black Sea (805).
“Kozelshchanskaya” (1881) Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos.
St. John the Scholastic, patriarch of Constantinople (577).
St. Zachariah, patriarch of Jerusalem (633).
Hieromartyr Severian, bishop of Scythopolis (452).

The Scripture Readings

Isaiah 9:9-10:4

9 All the people will know—
Ephraim and the inhabitant of Samaria—
Who say in pride and arrogance of heart:
10 “The bricks have fallen down,
But we will rebuild with hewn stones;
The sycamores are cut down,
But we will replace them with cedars.”
11 Therefore the Lord shall set up
The adversaries of Rezin against him,
And spur his enemies on,
12 The Syrians before and the Philistines behind;
And they shall devour Israel with an open mouth.

For all this His anger is not turned away,
But His hand is stretched out still.

13 For the people do not turn to Him who strikes them,
Nor do they seek the Lord of hosts.
14 Therefore the Lord will cut off head and tail from Israel,
Palm branch and bulrush in one day.
15 The elder and honorable, he is the head;
The prophet who teaches lies, he is the tail.
16 For the leaders of this people cause them to err,
And those who are led by them are destroyed.
17 Therefore the Lord will have no joy in their young men,
Nor have mercy on their fatherless and widows;
For everyone is a hypocrite and an evildoer,
And every mouth speaks folly.

For all this His anger is not turned away,
But His hand is stretched out still.

18 For wickedness burns as the fire;
It shall devour the briers and thorns,
And kindle in the thickets of the forest;
They shall mount up like rising smoke.
19 Through the wrath of the Lord of hosts
The land is burned up,
And the people shall be as fuel for the fire;
No man shall spare his brother.
20 And he shall snatch on the right hand
And be hungry;
He shall devour on the left hand
And not be satisfied;
Every man shall eat the flesh of his own arm.
21 Manasseh shall devour Ephraim, and Ephraim Manasseh;
Together they shall be against Judah.

For all this His anger is not turned away,
But His hand is stretched out still.

10 “Woe to those who decree unrighteous decrees,
Who write misfortune,
Which they have prescribed
2 To rob the needy of justice,
And to take what is right from the poor of My people,
That widows may be their prey,
And that they may rob the fatherless.
3 What will you do in the day of punishment,
And in the desolation which will come from afar?
To whom will you flee for help?
And where will you leave your glory?
4 Without Me they shall bow down among the prisoners,
And they shall fall among the slain.”

For all this His anger is not turned away,
But His hand is stretched out still.

Genesis 7:1-5
The Great Flood

7 Then the Lord said to Noah, “Come into the ark, you and all your household, because I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation. 2 You shall take with you seven each of every clean animal, a male and his female; two each of animals that areunclean, a male and his female; 3 also seven each of birds of the air, male and female, to keep the species alive on the face of all the earth. 4 For after seven more days I will cause it to rain on the earth forty days and forty nights, and I will destroy from the face of the earth all living things that I have made.” 5 And Noah did according to all that the Lord commanded him.

Proverbs 8:32-9:11

32 “Now therefore, listen to me, my children,
For blessed are those who keep my ways.
33 Hear instruction and be wise,
And do not disdain it.
34 Blessed is the man who listens to me,
Watching daily at my gates,
Waiting at the posts of my doors.
35 For whoever finds me finds life,
And obtains favor from the Lord;
36 But he who sins against me wrongs his own soul;
All those who hate me love death.”

The Way of Wisdom

9 Wisdom has built her house,
She has hewn out her seven pillars;
2 She has slaughtered her meat,
She has mixed her wine,
She has also furnished her table.
3 She has sent out her maidens,
She cries out from the highest places of the city,
4 “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!”
As for him who lacks understanding, she says to him,
5 “Come, eat of my bread
And drink of the wine I have mixed.
6 Forsake foolishness and live,
And go in the way of understanding.

7 “He who corrects a scoffer gets shame for himself,
And he who rebukes a wicked man only harms himself.
8 Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you;
Rebuke a wise man, and he will love you.
9 Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser;
Teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.

10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
11 For by me your days will be multiplied,
And years of life will be added to you.

Abbot Tryphon

About Abbot Tryphon

The Very. Rev. Abbot Tryphon All-Merciful Saviour Monastery on Vashon Island, Washington. The Monastery is under the omophore of The Most Rev. Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America, of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. Situated in the heart of a beautiful forest, surrounded by the Salish Sea, the monastery is reached by ferry from either Seattle, or Tacoma, Washington.

One comment:

  1. 2Tim 3:12
    “…all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution”…and ultimately
    (1 Peter 1:8) “rejoice with joy unspeakable,” for
    (1 Cor 2:9) “eye hath not seen…the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.”

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