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And during the first message, we looked at that simple, modest, easily-answered little question: Why do bad things happen to good people? And we talked about how sometimes good people suffer because of what they’ve done to themselves or what’s been done to them by others, but other times, there just doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason for their pain, sort of like what happened when God allowed Satan to take away everything from Job, a righteous man just to show that he’d remain righteous. In other words, sometimes suffering is not fair; it just happens, because it does. Not a great answer, right, but it’s the only one we’ve got. But as we talked about last week, whether we can understand it or not, I think it’s important for us to remember three things. First, we’ve been forgiven and cleansed; therefore, we’re not bound to keep repeating the past like Bill Murray did in Groundhog Day. And second, our future have been secured; therefore, whatever’s happening now is temporary. And third, we can be confident that God is with us all the time. Now that’s what we talked about last week.
But having said that, I really don’t want to suggest that the question, why don’t people understand me, that it’s only asked by folks going through adolescent hormonal changes. As a matter of fact, I think we might all find ourselves asking this exact same question from time to time, something we can see in this little clip from one of my all-time favorite television shows, “Faulty Towers.” And in this scene, Basil Faulty is trying to make sure his Spanish waiter Manuel doesn’t tell his wife about a horse he’d bet on but as you’ll see, he’s having a hard time being understood.
I’m telling you, I think, from time to time, we all wonder why the people around just don’t understand us.
But I’ll tell you, when it does, I think we can do more that just sit there in the ashes and argue with guys who aren’t going to listen because they’re champing at the bite to talk. You see, I think we can understand why this kind of thing happens. But more than that, we can also get a pretty good idea about what we can do about it. And in my opinion, it all comes to two verbs, “will” and “can,” and how they apply to the people around us. Let me explain.
Now, like I said earlier, I think at some point, we don’t have to be teenagers to wonder if there’s anyone who will and who can understand how we feel. And when this happens, I also think it’s natural to experience some sadness and some frustration, maybe even some anger. But I think we can avoid this grief when we recognize that some folks won’t and can’t understand while there are others could but won’t or who are willing but just can’t but that there are still others, hopefully right here in this community, who do want to understand and who can identify with us. And I’ll tell you, those are the ones to whom we can go. And you know, if we do, that can offer a lot of comfort when we feel like asking the question: Why don’t people understand me?