Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Everything Has a Reason

            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.

            These reasons are fairly obvious ones, but they are not satisfactory to mourning parents, siblings, other loved ones, and friends. The only answer that brings peace to our souls is to put our trust in God, which is often a difficult thing to do.  I suppose that only God really knows the answer to why things happened the way they did. I know that He is in control of all things, but I do not claim to understand why God allowed this experience to play out as it did. I do not know why He saves one person and not another. I do, however, know that He has His own reasons, and I believe that He will show us the big picture at some time in the future. In the meantime, I join my family and friends in mourning the loss of a wonderful young man.       

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