From the department of "God Knows:"
A couple with three young children decide to go into missionary work in Japan. They work hard, raise support (which is not easy -- I've seen several cousins and friends go through this), and get ready.
Jamison and Kathryne Pals, along with their kids, are headed to Palmer Lake, Colorado for a final training seminar before leaving --
And all five are killed Sunday when their van is smashed from behind, and bursts into flame on I-80 near Brule, Nebraska.
Because a semi driver was "inattentive" and "distracted by outside influences."
Another person died as well, in a vehicle their van hit. And several others were injured.
Why would this happen to good people who obviously were doing their job?
It is the same question we ask when someone we love gets cancer...and dies. Or cities are hit with earthquakes or floods. And destruction comes.
One of the hardest things in the world is to trust that the Master of the Universe has a plan for us. And it's not always the plans we have for ourselves. I do NOT believe that God causes evil. I DO believe that He allows bad things to happen sometimes, because He knows it will make us stronger, and yet realize that, in our weakness, we must rely on Him more. Certainly, it helps us help others who are going through the same struggles.
Look at Job.
They trusted God, in spite of enormously difficult times. So did the Pals.
Jamison mentioned this quote in one of their recent newsletters:
“Life is not a straight line leading from one blessing to the next and then finally to heaven. Life is a winding and troubled road. Switchback after switchback. And the point of biblical stories like Joseph and Job and Esther and Ruth is to help us feel in our bones (not just know in our heads) that God is for us in all these strange turns. God is not just showing up after the trouble and cleaning it up. He is plotting the course and managing the troubles with far-reaching purposes for our good and for the glory of Jesus Christ.”
– John Piper, in A Sweet and Bitter Providence
We can -- and I am not saying this lightly -- We can trust Him, too.