“I can’t believe God did this to me!” Nancy sobs.
Desperate to console her friend, “God did not do this,” Sue responds.
Nancy’s pain was unmistakable, her form crumbling with Sue’s comforting embrace.
With a deep breath, “Perhaps, but He did allow it, didn’t He?” Nancy asks.
Lord, how do I answer her? “He does have the power to intervene. I can’t fathom why this happened. I still don’t know why I suffered last year…” Sue’s voice choking.
Nancy hesitates only briefly before pulling Sue closer. Memories and images frozen in time emerge for both, their eyes convey the emotions.
“Nancy, sometimes…well, sometimes we can’t discern God’s intent…at least not right away.”
“If God allows things like this to happen, you would think He has some responsibility to give a reason.”
“In a sense, I agree. I don’t know why either of us, or any of us, has to be the recipients of evil but…”
“He says He will turn everything to good in His time.”
“Sue, don’t give me that Bible malarkey again. Just look at what happened to you…and now me! What good can come out of this?”
“I’m sorry for sounding like a religious hypocrite. It’s only that…”
Nancy interrupts, “It’s only what? Him having fun?”
“I’m so sorry. It’s only that…”
“It’s only that…what?”
Nancy sees her friend’s smile and realizes she used the same phrase. This is why we are so good for each other…love! She braves her next question, hoping to understand, “How does God turn the bad to good? ‘This’ bad to good?”
“I don’t know. God is the only being who sees the end of all things. He understands how all this will fit together…for good.”
“Okay, give me one example of this from your Book.”
“Hmmm…well, you came to church with me the Friday before Easter last year, remember?”
“Of course, what does that have to do with what has just happened to me?”
“What was that day called?”
“On that day men took the Son of God, stripped and flogged Him until He’s almost dead, pulled out His beard, punched His bloody face, drove a crown of thorns into His head, His countrymen called for His death, He carried His own cross and was nailed to it, then the crowd mocked Him to come down if He was God’s Son. This is the worst thing man has ever done and we call it ‘Good Friday’. Why?”
“He showed His love for us?”
“Exactly. The worse ‘bad’ ever was turned to good. If He can turn that to good…”
“Through our valleys He reveals more of His character, such as His mercy and grace, patience, forgiveness, holiness, power, majesty…”
Nancy interjects, “Like the pastor said, ‘the soil is more fertile in the valleys than on the mountain tops’. I’m beginning to understand, but it still hurts.”
“Sometimes it will, even until He comes back.”
Tears and hugs sealed their bonded friendship.
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