I loved this explanation of the Book of Job by Rabbi Yitzchak Breitowitz.
Why do bad things happen to good people?
G-d answers by showing Job the incredible elements of creation and the universe.
1) Complexity and Interrelationship of the Universe:
As isolated individuals, we might expect to be judged solely by our individual deeds of good and bad (2-dimensional), but also we are cogs in the larger universe (the 3rd dimension).
Therefore, what happens to us is not just a result of what we do, but also is a part of G-d’s larger overall plan for the world.
Even small acts can have large impacts.
For example, you sneeze and somewhere down the line it causes a tsunami.
Similarly, like actors in a cosmic play of a billion pages, we may not see or understand why our individual role may be what it is, but if you would see and understand the context of the overall drama (what came before us, after us, and how it all interrelates) then from a G-d’s eye view, it makes sense.
Every act of destruction can lead to a higher divine purpose.
Like the grass that is mowed over and uprooted to plants crops or the wheat that is harvested and ground up to make bread.
So, we can have faith that there is a reason and purpose for everything even if it is a mystery or unanswered question to us.
And even in our suffering, G-d, the master of the Universe, is saying that “I’m here with you thru it all.” You are not alone!
2) By challenging us, G-d gives us the “tough gift” to cope, grow, and become better people.
Even though things that happen may look bad to you, they can lead to good for you.
You don’t always get what you want, but you get what you need.
You have choice: you can be bitter, resentful, cynical, and angry or can look at life with hope, optimism and resilience.
Thus, suffering can be a vehicle of self-transformation and elevation. The challenges you face can help you become a different person–a greater person.
You can learn to feel not just your own pain and disappointment, but that of others.
You have the opportunity to grow yourself and the opportunity to help others.
(Thank you to Rebecca Ochayon for sending me this awesome video!)