Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A Bit of an Answer

Last night we received some tragic news. A friend of ours called and told us that his daughter (a couple years older than GuitarGeek, and newly married) was hit by a snow plow and killed.

Our hearts are grieved and aching for the pain our friends are feeling right now. What can you say? What can you do?

This kind of thing always rocks my theology. About the time I think I have God figured out, something happens and I don't know where to fit it into my picture.

Is this incident a total freak accident? If so, then where is the God who has all our days in his hands, and planned our lives before we were born, and has all the hairs of our head numbered?

Is this then something planned by God? If so, what kind of God plans for one of His children to be killed? And for others of His children to be put through the agony of grief?

So then is this really an attack of Satan-- a demonic action? If so, why? Why did God allow it? Where is the God spoken of in Psalm 91 where those who trust God are under His protection?

And what about the stories I've read of miraculous interventions and rescues, of people who inexplicably found themselves drawn to pray for someone and found later a tragedy had been averted? Why didn't God intervene in this case? Where were the people who were supposed to pray? Or weren't there any?

It all boils down, for me, to one question: Can I trust God? Is He trustworthy? Is my life truly in His hands, or do I need to look out for myself?

It's a real question, not just rhetoric. Because the answer affects the way I live my life. When something bad happens to me or my friends, what should we do? Fight the demonic forces that must be warring against us? Rebuke the evil? Accept it? Rest in God's perfect plan? Give thanks in ALL THINGS? Shrug and say "stuff happens"? Believe that All Things Work Together For Good?

If I can't find some sort of answer I can live with, then my heart becomes overwhelmed with fear. If it could happen to them, it could happen to us! And if God didn't protect them, how can I believe that He will protect us?

I don't know for sure. I know what I think, but that doesn't mean much unless it's really truly TRUE.

However, I know this:

Last night I prayed, asking God for SOMETHING, at least a bit of an answer, and this morning I pulled out Daily Light, a devotional book I haven't used in a while and found exactly that, a bit of an answer.

Look at these excerpts:

"When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live-- God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life...

If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself, that where I am, there ye may be also."

This then is a bit of an answer, and one of the messages of the Cross. There is hope. There is something more after this life, and it will be good. I suppose that's why the Apostle Paul said that the weight of the glory awaiting us is far greater than the weight of the affliction we suffer now.

Sometimes that's all the answer we get, but at least it's a bit of one.


Sher said...

I'm so sorry to hear about this accident and to hear about one so young to pass away. When this happeneds it is natural to wonder why. Why am I still here? etc.

I joke with my Mei Mei when she asks the same question when she is missing Pei Pei. I tell her "God takes the good ones. That's why we're still here." I say it in jest and we laugh.

But then I do believe God has a plan or his reasons.

My Mom was paralized in a car accident when I was in second grade. I believe God has his reasons. Because of this my siblings and I grew up to be independent and self sufficient.

She passed away when I was 18. Again I never had the chance to crawl back home to Mom during marriage growing pains. I had to work them out.

So while we don't understand now, in time we come to accept maybe the reason why.

Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving your lovely comment :)

PrayerMom said...

"Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. Jesus answered, "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish." (Luke 13:1-5)

Some Chinese Christians, who exist in the midst of government harassment of all sorts (including inprisonments and executions) were recently told of prayers coming from America for them. Their response was that they weren't concerned about getting prayer, but were focused on praying that the cares of this world wouldn't choke the Word in the American church.

Recently, I settled my battle with whether God loved me through all of the illness and disaster we've seen in recent years in Paul's laundry list of disasters found in II Cor. 11:

"....I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches. Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn? If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness." (II Cor. 11:23b-30

This is the same man who prayed for the revelation of and exhorted on the surpassing love of God in Eph. 3 and at the end of Rom. 8 and in so many places.

He said at the beginning of Romans 8 that the spirit that raised Christ from death was present to quicken our mortal bodies. We do receive an earnest of the eternal life that's already begun for us. Still, the completeness of the experience of the downpayment of that life can be an uneven experience. Paul also said that he'd learned how to abound and how to be abased. One doens't preclude the other. The world is full of evil; Jesus told us at the end of John 16 that He'd overcome the world. That's a generality, but it answers all of the looming threat of evil.

As I've asked God over and over what He wants of me in the midst of tribulation, the answer has been the same for years: Trust, with nothing added. We know in part, but can learn to trust completely.

My Ice Cream Diary said...

I used to wonder how people could ever blame God for the earthly accidents or tragedies that happen at the hands of man. But then my father got sick with cancer and I became angry that God didn't wait till my brothers were older to take him from us. THEN I had a "Duh!" moment as I thought, why does no one ask this question about the death of Christ? If God were going to prevent any awful death, wouldn't it have been the wrongful and demeaning death of his Only Begotten Son?

Every death has purpose, and the purpose is usually for those left behind, because those that die are going to a blessed and glorious place.

I don't know if this helps at all, but I know it helps me. It forces me to find what purpose every passing holds for me.