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Candle in the Night

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Where is God in the Suffering?

This past Tuesday was pregnancy and child loss awareness day and having a couple friends who have lost pregnancies lately and one friend who lost her six week old not long ago, my heart has been heavy for them.  How heartbreaking it must be to lose a little one.




The questions that kind of loss leaves are difficult to even think about.  Why?  How could a loving God take someone so loved from a family?  How is even fair?  


As I've contemplated these questions, no direct answers have come to mind, but some thoughts I'd like to share, have.

The first thing I believe God has shown me is my own nothingness.  I think of Job and how everything was taken from Him.  Was this just for God to prove to Satan that Job would still serve Him?  I think not.  Has there ever been a time when God has needed to prove Himself to the devil?  No.  So I think there must be another purpose to these events.  I believe that maybe God wanted to show all of us down through time our own nothingness.  So He asks Job questions.



"Where were you when I laid the foundations of the world?  Who are you, speaking empty words without knowledge?"  Job, and all of us, are nothing before God.  Who are we to question His ways?

But our loving God doesn't leave us there.  Although we are nothing and have no right to question Him, He allows us to receive comfort in other stories as found in the Word.  In reading the scriptures, we find that our hearts should be willing to give our children to the Lord.  He doesn't always take them away, but they are the best we can give.  They are perhaps the one thing we love and desire over Him.  What more can we offer Him?  



Consider Hannah.  She wanted a child more than anything and when God granted her a son, she gave him to God to serve in the temple, just as she had promised.  The story could have ended there, but it didn't.  Not only did God give Hannah many more children, but that first son grew to be a great prophet.  What a blessing for that mother who trusted God with her only child.


Sometimes, our faith is tested even further.  Abraham and Sarah had longed for a child and although God had promised Abraham that he would be the father of nations, they were still without a single baby.  When God gave them a son in their old age, they were sure it was the granting of a seemingly impossible promise.  They named him Isaac, meaning laughter.  How joyful they must have been!

What a shock Abraham must have received when God told him to take Isaac, lay him on an alter, and sacrifice him to God.  I'm sure Abraham had seen many animals sacrificed and had even sacrificed many himself, but his own sun?  But Abraham chose to obey God's command.  He took Isaac, the joy of his life to a mountain where he would lay him out and slay him.  Praise be to God that in His incredible mercy, He sent an angel to stop Abraham and provided a ram instead.  

And in that last line, we come to the most incredible story of comfort of all.  The story in which, there was no angel to stop the sacrifice.  There was no ram provided in place of the son.  The one in which the Father heard the son crying out, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"


The heartbreak of the Father as He watched His only Son die...knowing He could stop it...must have been greater than what any of us have ever felt.  And yet, He didn't stop it.  Why?

So that we could one day be reunited with our lost children.  


So that He can be reunited with His lost children.  



Wow.  What a circle.  We begin with a God who is all-knowing and all-powerful and who is not to be questioned and end with a God who sacrifices His Son so that we can be reunited with Him.  Because He loves us that much.  

I know this doesn't answer all the questions.  It doesn't take away the hurt.  But it is my hope that it does provide a balm.  And my dear friends, I want you to know that I pray for you every day asking that God will hold you close and give you the comfort you need to make it through.

Many of the images in this post are from Christ Images.

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1 Comments:

At October 30, 2013 at 10:07 PM , Blogger Lisha said...

This is beautiful. and yes, a balm. Thank you!

~Lisha

 

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