When Bad Things Happen
Have you ever dropped something and broke it, and you just want to go back a few seconds and NOT drop it? Or, have you ever hurt yourself, and you wish you could go back and NOT do that trick on your bike? Or, maybe you have had a friend turn against you, and you just want to go back a few days or weeks when that friend really seemed to like you...and NOT hear those horrible words?
I think the disciples probably felt that way when Jesus died. I mean, really, Jesus dying was the worst thing that could have happened to them. Jesus was their friend, and now he was gone. They believed Jesus was the Messiah, the promised Savior of the world, and they did not understand why he had to die. They knew the people who killed Jesus might try to kill them, too.
They probably wished that they could go back to the day when Jesus turned water into wine...or the day when Jesus healed the blind man...or really any day when Jesus was alive and doing amazing things.
But of course, they couldn't go back. Neither can we. And that's a good thing. Why?
Imagine for a moment that it was possible for the disciples to go back. Yes, they would have been happier for the moment, but they would have missed out on the most amazing thing God has ever done. They would have missed seeing Jesus come back to life. They would have missed the opportunity to know, beyond all doubt, that Jesus really was the Messiah and his death was all part of God's plan to forgive his children and restore his family. They would have missed being able to share the good news of his resurrection with the whole world.
The same is true for us. When bad things happen, we want to go back because we know what life was like before the bad. Sometimes we even miss that "before the bad" so much that we don't want to let go of it. But if we hold on to it, if we try to go back, we miss the opportunity to trust God and experience what lies ahead.
Jesus shows us what that looks like. Jesus trusted his father and went through the worst thing ever so that we could experience all the good that would come from it.
You see, only God can fix what is broken, whether it is a plate we drop, a friendship that fails, or a world torn apart by sin. And we can trust him to do it because he already has.
Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world. John 16:33b
Read John 16:16-33
In this passage, Jesus is speaking to his disciples. He knows he is going to die on the cross, but they do not. How does Jesus explain it to them? What words in this passage stand out to you?
Find something broken and create something new out of the pieces. If you cannot find something already broken, choose something you are allowed to break (a stick you find in your yard, a piece of paper you can tear into pieces, etc.) and create something new out of what you break. As you create, notice that while you can make something new out of the broken, you cannot fix it. Reflect on how God can.
Listen to the song "Mended" by Matthew West a few times this week. It is a great reminder of how God sees us when bad things happen. You can find it on any streaming platform or on YouTube here...