I read a post on Facebook today that I have been pondering for several hours. Its title was something like “Everything that Happens Does Not Have a Reason.” My first thought was to refute what was said, but I did not follow through on the thought. You see, the poster and many people that I know are recoiling from a terrible tragedy in our community yesterday. I knew there was already enough pain in our midst, and I did not desire to cause any more. The post was not about the misfortune, but apparently it was supposed to give comfort about it.
Tonight I decided to share some of my thoughts with the little knowledge I have about the calamity. I believe that there are no coincidences in life. I also believe there is a reason for all things even though we may not understand it. I believe that God is in charge of the universe and individual lives and that He allows things to happen as they do. I may not understand why things happen, but I trust that God has His reasons.
The tragedy happened to dear friends, who are members of our local church group. They are almost kin to my family because my daughter married into that clan. There was a carbon monoxide leak caused by a faulty furnace repair two weeks ago, and the family was exposed to carbon monoxide poisoning. They had been experiencing flu-like symptoms, but they thought it was just the flu. Yesterday morning the parents found one of their eighteen-year-old sons dead and a second one very ill. The entire family of two parents and five remaining teenagers were sent to the hospital for treatment. All but one went home last night (to a different house), and the last one will most likely be released tomorrow. They are apparently all okay.
People are questioning why things like this happen to good people – and all members of the family are good people. Friends and loved ones are having difficulty coming to terms with the results. Yet, I asked a few questions, and I believe the answers are reasons why things happened the way they did. The two young men were sleeping in separate bedrooms in the mother-in-law apartment over the garage, just above where the furnace is located. The carbon monoxide went through the garage ceiling and into the bedrooms. One son was sleeping with his window open, and the other was not.
Three reasons explain why one fine young man is dead and another one is a very ill survivor. The first reason is that the furnace was not put back together correctly. The second reason is that the family did not recognize the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning (would you?). The third reason is the fresh air coming into one room and not the other.