I will never understand people who say they have never doubted God–his goodness, his plan, his existence. Or, those who have said they’ve never directed even a hint of anger toward him. Are they being honest? Is it possible as a human to not feel such emotions at some point in our faith journey?
If what they say is true, perhaps their faith is greater than mine in moments of heartache.
My heart has been hurting a great deal this week as our closest friends here in Denver lost their baby boy. Two people who love Jesus and have followed him in obedience. The past several months we had with them and their baby on the way are moments I will forever cherish and celebrate.
But now we are mourning for them in a way that is almost paralyzing. I have doubted. I have been angry. I have wept for my sweet friends. I have been asking God what good could possibly come from such a devastating loss. And what good could it do for two people who have been so faithful?
I don’t suppose to understand the fullness of their pain, nor do I assume my grief mirrors theirs. As doubtful and angry as I feel, I am mostly sad for my friends. I wish we could press rewind or wake up from this dream–this nightmare.
This is not how these things are supposed to go.
But since the reality of this situation is upon us, we must decide what to do. We must decide where we will seek strength. We must decide what we will do with our doubt, anger, and sadness. Will we sit in it? Will we surrender it to the Lord? Will we trust that these emotions do not surprise him? Do we know that he can handle the spectrum of our emotions?
Do I trust that God fully meets my friends in the depth of their pain?
I have more questions–many of which may remain unanswered on this side of heaven. They are questions of the purpose, reason, and explanation of this tragedy. They are questions that scare me because some believe they aren’t appropriate. But if these questions are wrong to ask, would God be as powerful as we claim?
For the sake of my friends, I choose to believe that God can handle these questions. I choose to believe he loves my friends. I choose to believe he loves their sweet boy. I choose to believe he sees every tear they shed and anticipates how he will care for them in the weeks and months to come. I choose to have hope. Although doubt is pounding loudly in my heart, I choose to believe with my mind that we will see God’s goodness reveal itself in this tragedy. I choose to believe, along with my friends, that the verse from which they derived their son’s name is true of him today, tomorrow, and forever.
“They will be called Oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.”