"Why?" My dear friend looked at me from across the table, her eyes filling with sincere tears of empathy. "Why has God allowed your family to suffer so much? I just can't understand how He could take a child like that."
We were gathered for a small group Bible study and everyone knew that I had spent the morning at Desi's graveside for her balloon ceremony. These three women (along with many others) had been earnestly praying for us since this whole nightmare began.
I took a deep breath and searched deep in my heart before replying. How was I going to 'explain' the loss of our granddaughter at thirty-two weeks of pregnancy? How could I begin to rationalize the heartbreak that I have witnessed in my daughter's eyes since that fateful August afternoon?
"I don't know why. I just have to believe that someday God will be glorified through all of this. I cannot see His glory right now, but I am beginning to see how He has been preparing me." I then began to list some of the circumstances that our family had endured over the past few years and how they had helped to equip me during our current trial of loss.
To me, this is one of those BIG QUESTIONS of faith. You know the ones I'm talking about. The ones that do not have easy answers. The ones whose answers sometimes sound simple when spoken BUT are often very difficult to flesh out.
So, imagine my surprise when that very evening, the Lord sent the following words to me during a Ladies Bible study at church.
"God may not always answer our questions, but He will always answer us." Beloved Disciple by Beth Moore (Video Response Sheet/Group Session 2)
Beth went on to quote Psalm 65:5, 'You answer us with awesome deeds of righteousness, O God our Saviour." Notice He doesn't say that He will tell us everything we want to know. But He moves on our behalf with awesome deed of righteousness. (Can I get an 'Amen'?)
My thoughts went back to earlier in the video when she spoke about Moses on the mountain with God. (Exodus 33:21-23) God set Moses in the cleft of the rock, placed His hand over him and then passed by. Moses was told that he would not see God's face, but he would be allowed to see His back.
Beth drew a parallel between us and Moses, asking if we had ever considered that it was so dark because God had His hand over us right now. She went on to add that though we do not get to see His face and know the answers to why right now, perhaps...with time and a little distance...we will be able to see an answer as we gaze upon His back.
I still can't answer my friend's real question. I don't know why children die before they get the chance to live. I don't know why this happened to us. And, in all honesty, I'm not sure that I would be satisfied with the answer if I did know, since it wouldn't bring Desi back.
So, I hold on to the faith that the God who has held us through heartache and loss in the past will hold us now. I trust that He will work all things together for our good because we love Him and are called according to His purpose. (See Romans 8:28)
There is a tradition that I have heard practiced in various churches and forms throughout the years. The Pastor or other leader will stand before the congregation and greet them with the affirmation, "God is good." The congregation will then reply, "all the time!" More often than not, the Pastor will follow up with the words, "And all the time." To which God's people declare, "God is good!" That simple truth, filled with things deeper than my mind can even conceive, is what I find myself clinging to when the answers don't come.
He may not always answer my questions, but He always answers me. The proof is in the fact that He sent me that very statement...just when I needed it most.
Linking up with Michelle at Graceful for:
2 years ago