Random Acts and God’s Plan For Our Lives
Posted on January 8, 2015
New Year’s Eve is a special time for our family. We always enjoy sending the old year packing and welcoming in a fresh New Year. Some years are a joy to see go while others have been like old friends we hate to see leave. Since 2014 had been a so-so year, we simply waved “bye-bye” and shot off some fireworks. We enjoyed the surrounding neighbors setting off some real beauties and I swear, some “booms” sounded like small pieces of dynamite. There were hugs and well wishes to our friends and family as they left for their homes. We and our pets headed off to bed for a good night’s sleep.
New Years Day got off to a routine start here. I fed three dogs who then wanted to go outside for a walk. After drinking some good coffee and knowing how my husband adores having a country breakfast on New Year’s Day, I got his morning off to a great start. We goofed off and wandered around in the woods with our dogs. I came inside and started to work on my New Year’s Day post for this website. The TV was on and the news networks started covering a story about a husband and wife and how this New Years Day had been their last day on earth. A random meeting of a father and son from Texas happened to the lovely couple. There was no connection between the “Texas” and “North Carolina” couples. The only explanation for that New Years Day meeting that morning was that it was a random act of violence. Two decent, loving people, sharing a love of Christ and each other, loving and being loved by family and friends, randomly chosen and murdered. Two evil people, a father and son from Texas, decided to enter a random home, set it on fire, toss the home’s occupants in the back of a truck there at the home and drive off towards West Virginia.
Think about that for a moment. While I was feeding and walking our dogs that morning, at about the same time, unknown to me, a husband and wife were being murdered and their family, friends and community were losing a much loved couple to random violence. Because the murderers decided to go North instead of South on the highway they were traveling, none of my neighbors and I were placed in danger. Instead, by going North, two innocent people about 30 miles away from us were randomly selected and murdered by the Texas father and son.
When the couple’s murder became common knowledge, people were searching for some way to find a connection between the victims and the murderers. Human reasoning hopes that if a connection can be found, it explains why something happened and thus is not a random act. People feel safer when they don’t have to deal with the word, “Random”. Random is like the “if” word. It holds within its definition the unknown element. Forget all the tons of money that has been spent trying to teach us humans to reach out and embrace change. It is in our nature to want things to stay the same, to have a comfortable routine in place so that if a little change comes along, it can be easier to accept. We try to find ways to use the word “random” so that it feels less scary and more friendly. “Random acts of kindness” sounds warm and fuzzy and we like being able to say we do them.
As a Christian, when a random evil act occurs, I do sometimes ask God the age old question of “why”. God loves us and each of us is valuable in His sight. For years I could not put together how God, as much as He loves us, could knowingly allow horrific life changing and life taking experiences to happen to us. Yes, I understand the part in the Bible that talks about how it rains on the just and the unjust. I also remember how God allowed the devil to torment Job. The devil couldn’t kill Job but he did make Job’s life a living hell. At the end of the test, Job persevered in his faith in God and God abundantly restored all that Job had lost. In 1996, I started in my quest to understand how a loving God could knowingly let happen to His children, sufferings that seemed too cruel to be real. Having survived a horrific van and cement mixer truck accident in 1985, one that killed my mother, critically injured and forever changed my life had left me without any answers. After almost 20 years, I now do have a better understanding and the answers came from both my Bible and from my prayers to and my talks with God.
God states that He has known us since before we were in our Mother’s womb. He states that He has a good plan for our lives, plans to prosper us and to give us long life. I believe that is true. God said it and I believe in both God and His Word. God also gave us free will to make our choices as to what we want to do and to believe. Free will is the caveat in God’s plan for our lives. God’s future plans for us are governed by how we live our lives. This is what I believe. When it comes to living my life, until I make a decision as to what action I intend to do, God does not know if His plan for me will be fulfilled. He, like everyone else in my life, has to wait to see where my decisions about things happening to me are going to take me down life’s highway. However, unlike the devil, God really does want me to succeed. That’s why the Bible, the holder of God’s Word, is the most important book in the world. It is the one playbook that, if followed, can guarantee I ‘ll keep going towards God’s will for my life.
God can also get a good observation on how “Christ-like” the actions of other people are when I or another of His children make bad choices. God sees those who step forward to help and to mend brokenness in us when we have been hurt and given up hope for our future to be better. God also sees those who turn their backs and act as if we don’t exist or that we are not worth their time. God is the “all seeing eye” to everything good and bad that happens to us. The downside to giving humans free will is that it means that even if we have made all good choices, we can still be destroyed by someone else’s bad free will choice. The driver of the cement truck was careless and it cost my Mother her life. His actions caused me to suffer brain injures and skull fractures, broken teeth, partial loss of both vision and hearing. The doctor at the hospital who knowingly prescribed drugs for my husband that were dangerous for him almost ended my husband’s life. All the information was there for that doctor to read but he still prescribed those drugs. The “Texas” murderers made free will choices and those choices ended two precious lives and left their loved ones in a state of shock. Each family member affected by the way their Christian family members were killed by those two evil men will find themselves trying to not ask why. Their friends will be struggling to find some meaning or rational behind what happened but there is none. Thousands of tears will be shed and heart aches will leave deep holes in the souls of those who loved them. I do so remember those times when it has been our family and friends working through those tears and soul-gutting times of loss.
God did give me answers for some of my “why” questions. One in particular has given me comfort because of what He said. In 1996, when I was sitting on the corner of my bed, thinking about my early childhood and the grievous things that had been done to me, I kept saying “Where were You? Where were You then?”. His answer came in a tender voice to me, “I was there with you, sitting with you and yes, my child, I did cry with you.” His Word assured me that He would bind up the broken-hearted and He has been faithful in doing that. The deep dark holes in my soul were filled in with His love. It took time and it took me learning how to let go of the hurt so that God could do the healing. Because of my faith in how much God loves us, I know that He was there with that precious couple as they were murdered. Because they believed in God’s Word, as their earthly bodies ceased to live, their inner spirits rose up and God’s angels were there to go with them into their new heavenly home. What was the worst start for an earthly New Years Day ended in being this precious couple’s Amazing Grace Day. Someday, for those of us who believe in God and His Son, Jesus Christ, we will get to see all of our fellow believers. Family and friends who are already there waiting for us, will be ready to celebrate our homecoming into Heaven and we will be folded into the eternal love that is there for us to share.
Happy New Year and May This Year Be a Blessing to Your Life.