Devon grumbled all through the meal. Caught on his phone—again—during homework, his mom had confiscated the precious item until the next day. As a guest, Nannygranne couldn’t interfere but understood the situation, and even how his mother handled it. But she longed to help Devon understand as well.
“Belinda,” Nannygranne said to his mother. “Could I rinse the dishes while you tuck the little ones in after dinner? Maybe Devon would like to help me?” Nannygranne caught Devon’s eye and gave him a wink. “If he’s done with his homework, that is.”
“That’s so kind,” Belinda responded. “Devon, give her a hand. I’d appreciate it if you would.”
“Would I get my phone back, then?” Devon said to his mother.
She responded with a frown that said, ‘you’ve got to be kidding.’
After Belinda left, Nannygranne began gathering dishes. Devon joined her. “Thanks, Nannygranne. Even dishes are better than homework!”
“Hmm,” Nannygranne said. “That’s a pretty low opinion of homework if you even like doing dishes more.” She poofed her hair and struck a “glamourous” pose. “Or is it my irresistible beauty that brings you to the sink?”
Devon played along. “Uh…Well, I’m too young and haven’t made my fortune. So I’m not worthy. But give me time!”
Nannygranne laughed. “Bless your heart. Oh my, just my luck. Why do bad things happen to good people?”
Her flippant remark struck a chord with Devon. “Yeah! I’d like an answer to that question,” he muttered.
“Really?” Nannygranne responded. “But, you know, there’s a similar question I’ve never heard anyone ask.”
Devon looked at her with interest. “What’s that?”
“I’ve never heard anyone ask why good things happen to bad people?”
Devon frowned. “I never thought of that. But come to think of it, why do some people who are dishonest or cruel—or even lazy—seem to have more stuff than the ones who work and share and help all their lives? It doesn’t seem fair, does it?”
“Okay,” he added as he covered another dish for Nannygranne to place in the refrigerator. “So I’ll ask the question: Why do good things happen to bad people? Why does God let that happen?”
Nannygranne nodded. They were circling round to helping Devon understand why things happen in life. “Well,” she said, “the short answer is, ‘Because God is love.’ So, as the Bible says, ‘He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.’ So, yes, He allows good things to happen to bad people.
“But we need to dig deeper into the basic statement that God is love. Sadly, we are all basically selfish and want to have the first and the most and the sparkliest. Jesus, God’s Son, had all those things but set them aside to come to this earth because He valued us more.”
She stopped and looked out the kitchen window. “I just don’t understand how He can love us that much.”
Devon looked thoughtful. “And we’re not like God and Jesus, are we?”
“Hey! That came from down deep. I like that. No, we’re not. Jesus loved us so much He paid a blood price high enough to cover every evil thought or act by every human throughout history, including yours and mine.”
Devon shook his head. “I don’t understand that. How could God love us so much He would let His Son do that?!”
“Amazing, right?! But not only did Jesus die here, He lived here. Of all places for Jesus to live after He left heaven—here on this sin-wrecked earth. And then after all that, He offered to live not just beside us, but in us–through His Holy Spirit!”
They were both quiet for a moment. Then, as Nannygranne handed Devon a detergent pod, she said. “God loves us all more than we could ever hope to deserve. So, after we struggle with questions like why do good and bad things happen to people, the most important question is not why does God let bad things happen to me, but why does He give me good things when I am so weak and sinful? And the answer is ‘Because He is God and I am not. And He loves me.’”
Devon thought about that for a while. Finally he said, “Yeah, I guess having plenty to eat, good friends, a great house, and parents who care is way more than I deserve. And I guess I shouldn’t grumble because I have to do without my phone for a few hours. When I really think about it, I don’t have it so bad.” He looked sheepishly at Nannygranne. “I apologize for my bad manners earlier. I’m embarrassed.”
Nannygranne grinned. “Oh! You mean eating the last hot roll? Think nothing of it. I’m watching my calories, anyway.” She laughed and elbowed the boy, who grinned.
“I’d better get that homework knocked out,” he said. “I hope you come to see us again soon. I’ll help with the dishes!”
“The Lord is not slow concerning his promise, as some regard slowness, but is being patient toward you, because he does not wish for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief; when it comes, the heavens will disappear with a horrific noise, and the celestial bodies will melt away in a blaze, and the earth and every deed done on it will be laid bare. Since all these things are to melt away in this manner, what sort of people must we be, conducting our lives in holiness and godliness”. Apostle Peter, II Peter 3:9-11
“But I tell you, love your enemies. Pray for those who hurt you. If you do this, then you will be true sons of your Father in heaven. Your Father causes the sun to rise on good people and on bad people. Your Father sends rain to those who do good and to those who do wrong.” – Jesus, Matt 5:44-45