What A Stabbing Victim Can Teach Us About Why Bad Things Happen


We cannot escape a world that produces bad things in our lives, but we can trust God to protect the beauty he’s planted in our lives, and to nourish us with it.

When you read a headline about a woman who was stabbed 32 times by her ex-boyfriend, many things come to mind.

  • How awful.
  • That poor woman.
  • I hope something like that never happens to me.
  • Lord, I pray for her…

And then this:

God, why do bad things like this happen?

This isn’t the kind of question that has a black and white answer. But here’s how Melissa–the girl who was stabbed–answers it:

“It’s a miracle I am still alive today…even the doctors say so. I know God saved me. He couldn’t stop what happened but He did perfectly line up each individual after the attack who had a hand in saving me. I believe I was saved to tell my story.”

Jesus answers why bad things happen with a story about wheat and weeds

In Matthew 13:26-30,** Jesus shares a story about a farmer who plants wheat in his field only to have an enemy sneak over at night and plant weeds among the wheat. It’s an act of malice, and exactly the kind of thing that provokes this essential question:

God, why do bad things like this happen?

Here’s how Jesus responds to this reality of life: God has created a world full of goodness, but humankind has allowed sin to enter into that beautiful world and produce bad things (weeds) that grow up side-by-side with good things (wheat).

Jesus tells us that bad things will surround us naturally, because he has decided to allow them to grow in the midst of good things. The reason: If we try to “pull out the weeds” ourselves, we will damage and destroy the “wheat” he’s planted.

Instead of focusing on the weeds, Jesus says, trust him to separate the ugly from the beautiful, and to save the beautiful for us. We cannot escape a world that produces bad things in our lives, but we can trust God to protect the beauty he’s planted in our lives, and to nourish us with it.

Stabbing wasn’t the end of her story

Melissa’s story didn’t end with her brutal attack. Three years later, the EMT who rescued her proposed at a baseball game. From within the very midst of her tragedy new life and love was born. Out of ashes, beauty happens.

Take a minute to praise God for the way he makes beauty out of ashes, and for his mercy that allows bad things to happen so that good things can also happen. And reader–if you are in the midst of bad things right now, we ask the Holy Spirit to encourage your heart today. We know that not every bad thing ends as gracefully as Melissa’s story–sometimes we don’t experience the beauty until Heaven. We pray for a “Melissa” ending to your story, and peace for you today.

Written by: Stephanie Hillberry

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