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“Why Do GOOD PEOPLE Have to Die?” – Part 2

Yesterday I "teased" a discussion that was spurred by a question a life-long friend of mine asked concerning Coach Kay Yow (NC State Women's basketball coach who went to be with the Lord). I have known of her courageous and long fought battle with breast cancer. She seemed to be an amazing woman who was known for her inspiration and determination – she was also known for her faith in Jesus Christ. He asked me, via facebook, the following question:

"Why do GOOD PEOPLE like Kay Yow have to die?"

It truly is the question that many ask me – sometimes by those who are believers and struggle; othertimes by those who are looking for evidence against God so that they'll have reason to "convict" God of not being the good God that believers proclaim Him to be.

I am SO not a scholar, but it is interesting that our message this past weekend explored the scripture that we'll be pulling from today (John Chapter 11). With all of this in mind, here are a few of my own personal observations.

  • Just because you love the Lord doesn't ensure that you won't endure troubles

(sorry tv preachers who make your living promising blessing to those who generously give to your ministry :)). Everybody deals with the struggles of life – especially those who love and serve God. In the scripture we see a family who not only knew and loved JESUS but of whom the scripture says that JESUS knew and loved them (John 11:1-5). The man, Lazarus, was tight with Jesus, yet he found himself sick and on the verge of death.

Coach Yow battled cancer off and on for 2 decades (!!). Yet from what I could tell from those who knew her the thing that defined her was her faith. I suppose she had 2 choices – she could blame God and get mad at her misfortune or she could live her life to the fullest making the most of what she had. Luckily for you and I, she chose the latter.

  • God will use whatever means necessary to bring glory to Himself through us. Sometimes it's through victories – sometimes it's through the undesirable instances of life. In the scripture Jesus tells his disciples why Lazarus was sick - He said, "…it is for God's glory so that God's Son may be glorified through it." (v.4). For God's glory??? I'm sick for God's glory???

    To quote Pastor Harrell from Sunday's message, "I never signed up to bring God glory through sickness!!". We want to give God glory from our victories: "we won the game, glory to God!". "I had my most profitable year ever – glory to God!". "The church is exploding – Glory to God!!". However, the scripture says that Lazarus was sick to bring Him glory.

    For a college coach I would say that the pinnacle would have to be a national championship. Coach Yow never won a national championship (she did win a gold medal in the olympics). Winning a championship would have given her an awesome platform – instead, God gave her a different platform – cancer.  

    An amazing thing about her is that I honestly don't know that I would have known of Coach Yow were it not for her illness. Not being a women's college basketball follower I heard of her because 1. her platform because of her illness and 2. her being an outspoken Christ follower. God used her illness to bring glory to Himself in an amazing way!

  • God often doesn't answer our prayers when we want Him to. In the story they told Jesus that Lazarus was really sick – I'm sure it was obvious as Lazarus' sisters wanted Jesus to know. The stricking thing is that he waited 2 days to leave. (v. 6)

    You know, I've come to believe and understand (and most importantly, TRUST) that God has a plan. I'm sure people prayed for Coach Yow's healing many times. Though this illness eventually took her life, let us also look at what God did through her:

    she had a 737-344 record
    four Atlantic Coast Conference titles
    20 NCAA bids and a 1998 Final Four appearance
    She coached the U.S. women to the 1988 Olympic title
    Coach Yow was a member of the Naismith and the Women's Basketball halls of fame

    More importantly though was off the court where she strongly fought cancer — raising funds for research through the Kay Yow/Women's Basketball Coaches Association Cancer Fund – she was an encourager for those battling cancer.

    God gave her 2 decades to fight this fight and do good. 2 decades to bring Him glory through her sufferings. Instead of asking "why me?" it seems that Coach Yow asked, "God, how can You use my situation to make a difference to bring You glory?". Sounds pretty scriptural to me.

  • Join us tomorrow for part 3 of "Why GOOD PEOPLE Have to die".

    2 Comments on "“Why Do GOOD PEOPLE Have to Die?” – Part 2"

    1. Wendy says:

      Coach Yow visited Lumberton High School a few times when I was working there as she was recruiting Lumberton player Billie McDowell from our 2001 State High School 4A Championship team. Billie went on to play for Coach Yow and that’s when I really started noticing what a great lady Coach Yow was. It is sad for those left behind that she has passed away, but really she got her reward and healing through her death. God used her for great things and then he took her home.

    2. mike p says:

      Wendy – I agree… the loss is those who loved her most. As Paul said, “to live is Christ, to die is gain”. She got the BIG win last week :-)

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