I used to ponder the question as to why bad things happen to good people. I stopped pondering because the older I get and the more I go through, the more I realize that I can’t question how or why God tests us. The more I look to God for answers, the more I see that those of us that are tested in this life will not see harder tests in the afterlife. I am okay with that. Sometimes those tests don’t always seem fair but those are not a test of God but a test of humanity.
I once read a story about a religious scholar and his students. Four of his students approached with a bag of walnuts and asked if he would divide them evenly amongst them. The scholar asked the boys if they wanted the division to be in “God’s way” or “a mortal’s way.” The boys answered that they wanted the division in “God’s way.” The scholar then proceeded to divide the walnuts. He gave two handfuls to one child, one handful to the second child, two walnuts to the third and none to the fourth child. The boys became upset and said to the scholar, “This division is not in God’s way!” The scholar replied by telling the boys that God does give some people a lot, others a little, and others nothing at all. He explained that God will show how just he is on the Day of Judgment. He will show perfect justice on the Day of Resurrection but today the test is upon those who have been given more to share with those who have little or nothing. And those with nothing, do they show anger to God or do they accept God’s will? The moral of the story -the tests we are given in this life they are not tests of God but tests of humanity.
This morning I asked myself whether some people actually do change. I know that some people do. I have had to change because of the obstacles that life has thrown in my way so I do know that people do change but something has to force that change. I know that changes requires the ability to want to change but wanting change has to come from the person who needs to change not some other external force. I also think that a person has to feel enough pain to change. By that I mean – that person has to have had enough of whatever it is that they are doing wrong. The pain of staying the way you are has to be overwhelming in order for a person to move forward in a positive way. Some people don’t change because they are afraid to fail. When you are a kid, you learn to walk by falling down, bumping your head and getting up. The same goes when you are learning to ride your bike. When we get older, for some unknown reason, we are afraid to fail. It is probably because the stakes are much higher. Changing your perspective is the only way to move forward.
Some much about me has changed in the past year and even in the past few years. I have had to change. My father died with I was 19 – at time where I really him needed in my life. My first husband was abusive and took my daughters away from me. I didn’t raise them and I hardly know them. I have had to work for everything that I have gotten and all I have to show for it is a whole lot of debt. Rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia came into my life and ruined my plans. My brother got cancer and died. So I have changed and every time I change, I wake up older. I have learned to be cautious and I have learned not to trust. I have had my heart stomped on more times than I care to remember. I change because life forces me to but even so, I am disappointed because others cannot change mostly because their inability to change has its effect on me. I understand why they won’t change but I can’t sit around waiting for them to change and allowing them to stump on my heart in the process. I just can’t. Believe me, I have tried. It is a battle I cannot win.
In the last few years, I wondered if God was testing me or testing people I chose to put in my life. Lately, I realize that it doesn’t matter who God is testing. What matters is that I keep going and I don’t ask why. God tests our humanity and our loyalty to him. I am loyal to God above everything. I seek his guidance when I am being testing and he is well aware of that. God expects me to endure the tests he gives me and he expects to seek his guidance but at the same time not continue to ask why. I no longer ask why – I just keep going because life isn’t as simple as asking why – at least not in my life.
The only thing I wonder is why some people don’t change. Why can’t they see that the reason that God tests us is so that we seek his guidance and keep moving forwarding in a positive way without asking why? In fact, these tests are the reason we change. God tests humanity so that they can understand, accept and endure. I am willing to understand, accept and endure but I am not willing to do nothing. And if others in my life aren’t willing to change, all I can do is move forward without them. Is there another choice?
The latest test is getting in a rear-end auto accident two weeks ago. I remember telling my rheumatologist at my last appointment that the only pain I had was in my hands and feet. I was close to remission before the accident and now I am back to step one waking up every morning as if I have been run over by a monster truck. What I need in my life and my kids’ lives right now is stability. The problem is that means I have to remove a particular person from my life if that person refuses to change. With that person in my life refusing to change, I cannot have stability.