Ben and I started seeing a counselor when we found out about Will, in our first session when we were talking about our diagnosis the counselor said, “I don’t think everything happens for a reason.” Which surprised me, I thought my whole life that everything did happen for a reason. The counselor explained, “I don’t think God makes natural disasters happen on purpose, I don’t think death, disease, abuse, divorce, and all horrible things that make us sad and upset come from God.” I thought for a moment about that, and I agreed with him. I don’t believe everything happens for a reason. I do believe that our trials make us stronger, and we choose what we do in times of distress, but I do not believe God is the creator of any heartache.
I believe that we live in an imperfect world where things happen plainly because of the fact that our world is not perfect. The tectonic plates sometimes just move and it causes an earthquake. The cold and hot winds hit at the wrong time and cause tornadoes just because it happens. Our bodies are imperfect, we catch colds, we get sick, we get cancer. Our loved ones are imperfect, they make choices that hurt us, It’s not God. He knows all, He knows what is going to happen, He knows how we will overcome it, and He helps us through it, but I don’t believe in a God who causes bad things to happen on purpose, I believe in a God who is merciful, and kind, and understands we live in an imperfect world and created all means necessary so we can be comforted by Him.
“But behold, that which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continually; wherefore, every thing which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of God. Wherefore, take heed, my beloved brethren, that ye do not judge that which is evil to be of God, or that which is good and of God to be of the devil.” Moroni 7:13-14)
Someone told me a story when they were in church one Sunday; this lady got up to bare her testimony about her mother. Her mother was suffering from cancer and had recently over come and beat the cancer. She said in sacrament meeting; “God loves us so much that he took the cancer away from my mom.” I knew this lady was expressing her belief in God, but what about those whose mother’s don’t beat cancer? Does that mean God doesn’t love them? Of course not, God loves each and every one of his children, and it hurts him to see us suffering.
It is very natural though, to think; “Why me?” We all do it. I did it, and I blamed God. I told Ben; “Why do so many other people have normal pregnancies? Why does she get to bring her baby home from the hospital but I don’t? Why does God allow these things to happen.” The answer is not something I want to here, but it is simple, the reason Will is this way, is because that was the way he developed. Will has an imperfect body, it’s as simple as that. When my parents divorced I blamed God again, I said; “Why do those parents stay together but mine don’t?” And sometimes things are just as simple as “because that’s the choice they made.” Why did all these people loose there homes in an earthquake? Because that is just when the plates decided to move.
I hate to be depressing today, but I promise there is hope. God knew that because Adam and Eve partook of the fruit, we would then live in a fallen world. We would live in a world that was imperfect, where bad things happen, and He gave us His Son, Jesus Christ.
“And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people. And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities. Now the Spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me.” Alma 7:11-1
I don’t believe God is the creator of these trials, I don’t believe He purposefully allows things to happen to us. I believe that bad things happen, because they happen, because people are not perfect, the world is not perfect. I believe that our baby developed this way because his body is an imperfect body, and my body is imperfect. And as much as we want to blame God, blame others, or blame ourselves. We can’t. And we shouldn’t. We need to stop telling people “Well, this bad thing has happened to you because God wanted it to.” I know that bad things have happened to me, they will continue to happen to me. But I also know I’m not alone, and I know this isn’t the end. God doesn’t want us to focus on the trial, but focus on the Lord Jesus Christ and his atonement, and depend on him.
“Many of you are now passing through physical, mental, and emotional trials that could cause you to cry out as did one great and faithful servant of God I knew well. His nurse heard him exclaim from his bed of pain, “When I have tried all my life to be good, why has this happened to me?” Mountains to Climb by President Henry B. Erying (Link: https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2012/04/mountains-to-climb?lang=eng)