I’m not one to complain. Especially to God, who has always shown Himself faithful. But, showing Himself faithful doesn’t always mean showing Himself in a way that I understand. He is definitely mysterious. So, this is not a complaint.
I’m just grappling with why right now, more than I ever have. Why certain things happen the way they do and to the people they do and when they do. I’ll give you two examples.
Steven Curtis Chapman, a well-known singer and songwriter, has inspired millions. In recent years, he has not only inspired with his songs, but with his parenting. You see, he and his wife, with 3 kids of their own, decided to adopt one of the many orphaned girls from China. Then, they adopted another. Then another. In all 3, and in the process they began a ministry that helps to financially support and situationally counsel families who are interested in adoption. You can check it out by clicking here. 2 weeks ago, as they were about to leave the house for an engagement/graduation party for family and friends, one of their teenage boys accidentally ran over their youngest adopted daughter, Maria. She was helicoptered to the hospital and pronounced dead there. Why? They gave so much love, both to daughters and to families wanting to adopt daughters of their own, and then this. Not to mention in the midst of grieving having to comfort your own son dealing with the reality that he killed his sister. There’s no equation that makes that make sense.
Secondly, a friend whom I work with on several projects, a pure hearted guy who absolutely loves his wife and 3 kids, was driving to a worship gathering this past Sunday morning. Someone ran a stop sign and t-boned them causing them to flip several times. His middle daughter, 5 years old, was injured severely. Her brain disconnected from her brain stem, she was lifeless on life support. No brain activity. Tests were run, doctors said she has had no brain activity for 24 hours, and on Monday night (June 9th), he and his wife had to decide whether to “pull the plug.” She was officially declared dead. Her organs will be donated to help give hope to other children. But this little girl, whose name was Hope, is gone. Why? Where do you put that? You never get over that.
I’m not meant to understand it all. I know that. “Why” will always be a question we ask from this side of heaven. I don’t think God “causes” all this stuff. I see evidence in the Scriptures that some things He causes to move forward His purposes of restoring us into relationship with Him. I also see evidences that some things are consequences of the selfishness of man. I also see evidence that God allows stuff.
And, we may never know why. Jesus seemed to have 2 themes that dominated His teachings – LOVE and OVERCOME. He called us to love God and love people. He showed us love and told us to love like He loves. He challenged us to love even when others don’t love us. He changed the whole paradigm of love from what I feel to what I give, even when it hurts. He also was honest about how tough this life is. He was straight about life having difficulties and people hurting us and about people possibly losing their lives for His name’s sake. He was calling us to be overcomers. To overcome by following Him, abiding in Him, clinging to the hope that He gives. In Him we can overcome all the stuff that makes us not want to love anymore. That’s what He said and that’s what He did.
Who knows in these situations what the “cause” was. Who knows the why. I still grapple with it, but I rest in this. Whether God caused it, man’s selfish choices led to it, or God allowed it to draw us nearer in His purposes, or some other reason, the great God of mystery is also the great God who came near. And, He is near to me when it hurts and when I don’t know why. I can rest in His love, so clearly declared for me. I can rest in His hope that is certain to come. And, I can overcome in His strength. It still seems so unfair and unnecessary. But if anyone knows unfair, Jesus does. I will listen to Him, draw near to Him.
The why remains inside the category of mysterious, but let’s keep grappling to know Him more. Let’s get to loving each other, in tough times and bad. Let’s overcome together until that day. For now, I am praying for wisdom to know how to love Hope’s Dad in a way that he needs to be loved, and I am praying for the wisdom to simply be there and not say too much.