Well, the good news is that my 7 pm cup of coffee kicked in allowing me to finish my MUST get dones. The bad news is that it didn't kick in till 10 pm and it is now nearly midnight and it's still kickin! I bought a new journal today and have enjoyed two full pages of it already so that leaves me to.... uhhh.... blogging, I guess.
It has been a tumultuous couple of weeks in which I have shed many tears with those I love. I have had news of 2 friends miscarrying in the end of the 1st trimester/beginning of 2nd trimester. I have had news of a dear friend's loss of her 14 yr old neice due to a terrible tradgedy. So much hurt around me, so much that seems senseless. And in the midst of lots of pain surrounding me, I still hold tightly to the fact that God is good even when life isn't.
I had this conversation recently. How does a loving, good, and just God allow senseless suffering? What justice is found in a 3 yr old with lukemia, a 5 yr dying of brain cancer, and pretty much any childhood disease? How is that just? Why doesn't God choose to stop it?
And do you know what? I had no answer for those questions. I cannot pretend to understand why my friends neice was killed, why my other friends son suffered and died of cancer, why my dear friends lost their babies before they were even born. As I was asked this, and as I realized that I had no satisfactory answer, I also realized that I still trust that God has us in the palm of His hand.
I can't explain the peace and the assurance that I felt. I was talking with a fellow believer but they were hurting and questioning as I was filled with peace. This person who I talked with was not even one of the people going through the pains that I have listed, just an onlooker. How do I convey my firm belief that God will fulfill His purpose for us, that He remains good and soviergn when life throws curve balls, and that He truly does care for every intimate detail of our lives?
I don't believe that God causes bad things to happen to us, but I do believe He allows them. I also believe that He can bring beauty from ashes, healing from pain, and sometimes sense to the senselessness of it all. My friend whose son died a year ago from brain cancer for instance, has had a huge piece of her life ripped away from her. Her son was diagnosed in late Nov and died in early Jan. That's not much time to fight for life and watch it be ripped away from you. In all of this she has been an amazing woman and has continually allowed God to work in her life. The type of cancer her son had was very rare and in 35 yrs no progress had been made in curing it. The samples of the tumor taken from her son when he died are the only living samples in the world of this particular cancer and the scientists studying it are for the first time ever making progress in understanding it and hopefully curing it.
Now my sweet friend has suffered greatly from her loss, and her son suffered greatly from his disease, but I see God bringing hope to a hopeless situation. His death may be the key to saving many other lives. That doesn't mean I rejoice in his death, it means that I see God "working all things together for good." God still works in the midst of devestation.
I can also say it in my own life. I have known hurt. Lots of hurts, deep hurts, secret hurts. I have seen God redeem so much of my own life as well. Just one example, when I was a junior in highschool, I was sexually assaulted by a friend of mine from school. Long story short, when everything was completely hopeless and I knew I stood no chance of walking away unharmed, I prayed in my head, "God, help me." Suddenly my attacker was standing frozen against the wall staring at me with the "what the heck is going on" look and I had the opportunity to run.
After this happened, I had a conversation with my mom. She was confused and angry. She said that every day she prayed that God would protect me and then He didn't protect me and I was literally seconds away from being raped. I however saw it differently. God DID protect me and though I was slightly hurt and very scared, I was able to get away from much greater hurt. I guess it is all in how you see it. She saw my hurt, I saw my salvation.
Maybe it isn't our God that needs to be re-evaluated, maybe it is our perspective. How do I explain that in the midst of the hurt around me, that I still know that God is good? How do I explain that I trust God and I know that even when pain strikes He is still there walking beside us? How do I convey that I believe that God never promised us smooth sailing, just a safe landing? He never promised to take away our suffering, only to never leave our side when we go through it. Can I really ask for anything more than that, than the knowledge that in the midst of my tears, He stays with me, comforts me, and calls me His own?
I wish that for a moment, this person could see life through my eyes. I wish they could experience firsthand the peace I walk in, and the "Blessed Assurance" that permeates my perspective. It would be so much easier to have this conversation if they could walk for an hour in my skin. Since that isn't possible, I will continue to believe that God has a plan even when I can't see it. I will continue to trust His heart when I can't trace His hand. I will continue to believe that God is good even when life isn't.. And I will pray that in His infinite grace God will help others to see His goodness through my life.