When Bad Things Happen to Good People … grace has not abandoned us

Rabbi Harold Kushner, author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People, dealt with the personal tragedy of a child who dies of an incurable condition: progeria, the aging disease. This tragedy caused him to rethink everything he had once felt so secure in believing about suffering, prayer, and God.  He writes that prayer doesn’t change God, it changes us, a sentiment that echoes the writing of Christian author and novelist C.S. Lewis. Although God answers our prayers, the answer may not be what we want to hear, or may not be the miracle we hoped for.

After his son Aaron’s diagnosis at age 3, Kushner prayed fervently and constantly for a cure.  It didn’t materialize. Aaron died at age 14 weighing no more than 25 pounds, in a body ravaged with the signs of old age.  Kushner’s faith in an all-powerful God was shaken. But after four years of reflection he became aware of an unexpected miracle in his life: his marriage had survived Aaron’s death and had become even stronger as a result. It wasn’t what he had prayed for, but he was nonetheless grateful for this sign of God’s grace.

What about us? What have you been praying for, and what miracles have gone unnoticed? I think if we take the time we will discover God is at work in our lives in many small and perhaps not so small ways: in the generosity of strangers, the hospitality of friends, the love and support of family, even in the power and magnificence of nature. We may not have all our prayers answered, but I think you will find that God is with us as we struggle to survive and overcome..

About Mona

I am a wife, mother, and author. I taught high school for 27 years and I was a hospital and hospice chaplain until my health required that I retire. I miss my hospital coworkers and cannot imagine how terrible this year and last year have been. I want to be there for them in at least this small way.
This entry was posted in doubt, Faith, God, grace, grief, loss, meaning, Prayer, spirituality and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to When Bad Things Happen to Good People … grace has not abandoned us

  1. Celeste Cote Smith says:

    Amen! God bless you , I am dealing with the sudden tragic loss of my amazing Mom in June and this brought tears to my eyes and peace in my heart ! Thankyou

    • Mona says:

      I am sorry for the loss of your mother. The first thanksgiving and now Christmas must have been tough. But the way you describe her makes me think you must have some wonderful memories of your relationship. I hope those memories bring you comfort now.

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