In the final analysis, the questions of why bad things happen to good people transmutes itself into some very different questions, no longer asking why something happened, but asking how we will respond, what we intend to do now that it happened.
― Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
In the summer of 1991 a young couple began to seek God together. They went shopping for a church that taught the bible. They found one that looked promising, filled out a visitor’s card, checked the box interested in a study, and began weekly studies with a young evangelist. During this time of study they began to see the truth ― about God’s word and about the lives they had been living. During this time the young woman found out that she was expecting. They knew what they needed to do. They made the decision to become disciples of Jesus Christ. They had their sins washed away. They began to turn their lives around. They decided to get married, assuring everyone that they most definitely wanted to spend their lives together. The young evangelist who had taught them and baptized them agreed to marry them. Their families supported them. The church rallied behind them. They were graciously welcomed. They were embraced. They were loved.
The young couple met life’s obstacles with optimism and joy for the journey ahead. That journey repeatedly proved God’s grace. The young man became an evangelist. The young couple moved around the country to preach. They raised a family with God as the solid foundation in their lives. They loved their family and sought to do God’s will and to teach others to do the same. The sins of the past were but lingering ghosts. Life was beautiful―’mingling toil with peace and love.’ The young couple never forgot where they came from and how God had blessed them on their journey.
You can’t be brave if you’ve only had wonderful things happen to you.
―Mary Tyler Moore
Many years pass. Another young couple struggles. They are planning to marry. They aren’t making the best choices. They go to their parents just a few months before the wedding to tell them that the young woman is expecting. The parents know that far more important than how others might respond is how they will respond. Pain, shame, embarrassment, anger, worry, irritation―these are the worldly responses to a difficult situation. The parents know that there is need for admonishment and there is a need for grace. This is about three souls.
The parents know that they will forgive. They will guide. They will encourage. They will do whatever it takes to help the young couple make good choices―knowing that the foundation they build their lives upon will make all the difference in the world. They will embrace them and support them in whatever way they can. The parents remember where they came from and how greatly they were influenced by the love and acceptance shown to them. They know that, without the love and support they were freely offered, they might not be where they are today. They will pray and hope and wait. They will plant seeds and water them. They will not grow weary. They will lean on God and His family.
Trusting in my Father’s wise bestowment, I’ve no cause for worry or for fear.
He, whose heart is kind beyond all measure, Gives unto each day what He deems best,
Lovingly its part of pain and pleasure, Mingling toil with peace and rest.
Live, then, and be happy, beloved children of my heart, and never forget, that until the day God will deign to reveal the future to man, all human wisdom is contained in these two words, ‘Wait and Hope.”
― Alexandre Dumas