I believe in God. And I believe that God gave us all free will. I also believe in His grace, that we are forgiven before we ask and that sometimes God allows bad things to happen to bring out the best in us.
Last night, my nephew interrupted our conversation about people of different ethnicities when his train of thought jumped tracks to tornadoes. "Aunt Michele," he said, "why does God make tornadoes?" Leave it to a six year old to test your knowledge and beliefs on a calm Saturday evening drive.
I had never really thought about why we have tornadoes. But after a minute or two of pondering the question, I realized that it's another one of those scary and sometimes tragic events that we are allowed to go through in order to bring out the best in people.
Bad things happen to people who don't deserve it. And sometimes good things happen to people that we don't believe deserve it. And in all things, we are given the chance to respond. We can choose to respond in a way that is helpful or kind or loving. Or we can choose to respond otherwise. Every one of us has had ample opportunity to respond to various situations in our lives, some personally and some through the hardships or blessings of others.
In my own life, I have had some really crappy experiences and there have been moments when I have been very angry at God for allowing them. And in every situation there has been that one person that comes along and says, "you know Michele, everything happens for a reason." As difficult as it is to hear and understand in the midst of tragedy, I know that it's true. I have had to go through each and every experience to learn what I've learned and to become who I am.