This week has been rough in many ways. So much tragedy has gone on and it breaks my heart. I am reminded of my post Emotional Hockey by Moonlight, how I was at a loss for words. Today I have to speak up. I have read many articles and blog posts by people speaking out on current events and the vicious responses by those who disagree. But I still must speak.
I don’t want to join in all the political hoopla so this post is not about that. Nor do I have any desire to join all the fighting about whose lives matter and why we should or should not jump on that wagon. So this post is not about that. I don’t feel I have value to add to those issues.
My heart is breaking for things that are of a more personal, every day in your face kind of thing. The kind of thing where you either know the people personally or know someone who does, or it is in the headlines of the free local newspaper. The stuff that is more in our own space. Things like the headline about a twenty-one-year-old young lady in my city that died of bacterial meningitis. Things like a friend of mine with three co-workers enduring tragic losses. One lost her thirty-year-old daughter and two-month-old grand-daughter. The daughter was holding the baby and when she died she slumped over and smothered the baby to death. Another one lost her four-year-old son. And the other lost her thirteen-year-old son to suicide.
It is a time to weep!
When these types of things happen people often ask “Why did God let that happen??”
I have asked that question myself in the past. In fact, I have actually blamed God for many things – like the death of my grandmother. I prayed and she died and I blamed God. I was only 13. I was so mad. I was so hurt. Why didn’t he listen to me pleading for her life? Why did he take her away from me? I needed her!!
Questions. Questions. Questions.
Many years have passed since then. I have passed through a time in my life when seeking those answers took me on a journey trying to prove God didn’t even exist because I was so mad at him. I failed in my quest. Like a child who is throwing a tantrum out of pain and grief hits whoever is trying to comfort them until they lose their strength and fall into the comforters arms, I attacked God. Until I fell and he caught me. I still didn’t have the answers I wanted so badly but I had something I had previously lost. Hope. I had a ray of light in front of me coaxing me and wooing me. There were many dark things in my life that hindered me from seeing what God was trying to show me. But when I focused on the light I could continue to breathe, continue to hope. It took a long time. Trust came hard. I have a strong skeptical streak in me.
Why did God let my grandma die? I still do not know. But this I DO know – God did not murder my gramma as I had accused him of. No God did not do that!! He didn’t have a contract out on her head. He didn’t say “times up – gotta come home now”. He didn’t need a flower in his garden. He didn’t turn her into an angel. Nope, I don’t believe that. The Bible says that people are destroyed due to lack of knowledge. I believe there are things that I do not know that could have allowed her to live longer – but – I didn’t and still don’t know them. I cannot go back in time. I can take what I have and learn and go forward and try to help others in pain.
Some people like to say in response to tragedy that “God has a plan”. Some people enduring the pain say it themselves. They say it helps them. I am glad it helps them. It does not help me. Although I also believe that God has plans, I do not believe that his plans include 21-year-olds dying, 30-year-olds dying, babies dying…etc. I believe what the Bible says about Gods plans – that they are to prosper us and not to harm us, to give us hope and a future.
So when things go horribly wrong I may not understand, but I believe God is not the problem. To the contrary, I believe he has the hope, comfort, and plan for recovery that we all so desperately need. When we believe that the one who is supposed to be helping us is the one who is hurting us there is only pain. I lived there for a long time. I have moved. I still have more questions than answers. But now I have trust.
A man once came to Mother Teresa and asked for prayer. She asked him what he wanted her to pray for. He said clarity. She said no. He responded that he thought she had clarity and he wanted it also, so why wouldn’t she pray for him to have it too. This is what she said:
“I have never had clarity;
what I have always had was trust. I will pray for you to trust God”
Have you dealt with these questions? Do you feel you have answers?
What do YOU believe?
Please share your thoughts in the comments.
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