Last night David and I were having a discussion about luck. I was telling him how grateful I felt that a friend’s life was saved from what could have been a devastating and potentially fatal condition, and his response was that she was lucky.
Yesterday I wrote about giving up control of your life to Jesus, and I think that this idea of getting lucky is, in many ways, part of that. Personally, I no longer believe in luck. If I get a green light, that is a blessing from God; an amazing parking spot? Thank you, Jesus. Why is it so much easier for us to believe that good things happen by random chance than it is to believe that something good happened because we have a Father in heaven who loves us and wants what’s best for us?
I think that part of the reason is something many struggle with, because good things happen to bad people, and bad things happen to good people. And it’s hard to understand how a loving Father could give a good mother cancer, or see a father killed in a car accident. And bad things don’t just happen to good people, they happen to Christians and non-believers alike, they happen to innocent children.
I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t have all the answers here and this was something that David and I discussed, and I’m sure we’ll have more discussions about. But here’s what I know from my own life experience. When my oldest son was born I was filled with so many hopes and joys and expectations for who and what he would become. Never once could I have imagined the road God put me on with him. We have been through multiple diagnoses, traumatic brain injuries, self-abuse, staff abuse, and so many tears. For many, many years I couldn’t understand why God gave me a son with so many challenges. At times I thought it was a punishment, at others I simply turned my back on God. What I couldn’t see, while I was down in the trenches, when I was walking through the valley, was God’s bigger plan. I didn’t see how Hayden’s brain injury would result in his eventual transition to a community home where he would be given incredible support. I didn’t see how this would result in our family actually becoming a family again, instead of a single parent household while the other parent managed and cared exclusively for Hayden. I didn’t see how this would give me the chance to simply be Hayden’s mother again instead of constantly focusing on therapies and treatments and then being too exhausted for anything more. God has a plan for each and every one of us and I believe that the more we thank Him for our blessings, the more we reach out and try to have a relationship with Him…the more we find ourselves able to trust in Him and his plan for us.
I have no idea the ripple effect my son Hayden has in the lives of those he meets, and interacts with on a daily basis at school, in the community, in his own home. There are still many days when all I can do is give him to God, trust in God and his plan for Hayden, for our family, for me. I do know that I no longer believe anything in my life is a result of chance. If I choose to believe in a God who was capable of creating the heavens and the earth, who can bring the dead to life, how can I not believe in a creator who is capable of watching over me in my daily life.
And I guess that brings us back to where we started. In the end it always comes down to the same thing; the reason there is good and bad in this world…choice or free-will. You can choose to believe that the good things that happen to you are good luck, and the bad things similarly, or you can choose to believe that the good things that happen to you are blessings from a loving Father and the bad things? Challenges, opportunities for growth, doors opening to new chapters you couldn’t imagine were possible. Sometimes to climb a mountain you have to walk through a valley. Maybe the meaning of life is as simple as choice, and if it is, I know God wants you to choose Him.