When my mother died before I could get there?
When my friend’s child was killed in an auto accident?
When I miscarried my baby?
When my husband/wife was dying from cancer?
When my child was born with a life altering, debilitating illness?
When my friend was abducted and brutally murdered?
When my husband left me for another woman, leaving me totally broke and homeless?
When my sister had surgery and became a paraplegic as a result?
When my best friend’s grandchild died from SIDS?
These are all good questions. Some I’ve asked. Some were asked by my friends.
The answers? Those are not up to me to even begin to try and answer. Because I’m not God. Only He knows the answers.
But in our most troubled times, times of great turmoil, unimaginable sorrow and pain, all we can do is cry out to the Lord for answers.
And sometimes there are none. There’s only a deafening silence. Which makes us think He isn’t listening to us. That He doesn’t care. And we suddenly feel we have absolutely no one whatsoever to turn to. And we descend into the deepest void we’ve ever been in.
Because we KNOW we’ll never recover. There’s truly no way to recover.
The good news is…we do recover. Slowly. Sometimes extremely slow. Sometimes it’s so slow we don’t realize we’re recovering.
But, we still ask, “God, where were you? And why didn’t you intervene and stop this??”
And still we have no answers.
We won’t have them until the day we meet Him face to face.
But we do know, although there are times we find it very difficult to keep believing and remembering, that God loves us. All of us. But God is not a master puppeteer who controls us all from above. He doesn’t pull our strings and make us do His bidding. He doesn’t force us to do things. He allows us to make our own choices, and our own mistakes.
Sometimes the choices we make impact other people in ways that affect them horribly. And sometimes things just happen. And we never know why.
But remember that deep void you found yourself in after that tragedy? You weren’t alone. The Lord was with you, comforting you, loving you, holding you, collecting your tears. He knew your pain, and yes, He could have stopped it. But at what cost to so many others? This is the hardest question of them all. Is He supposed to pick and choose from all our prayers and pick the ones He wants to answer because He loves us more than our neighbors?
I think not.
God does not give us trouble. That’s not who He is.
Our troubles come from life. From the actions of others around us. The Lord even told us, “In this world you will have trouble. But I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) Notice how He didn’t say, “I will save you from all your troubles so you won’t have any, and your entire life will be easy.”
But He did say, “Come to me, all you who are tired and weary, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28) That’s faith, and hope, and love. A promise to be held in heavenly arms that give us comfort when we need it the most. “As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you, and you will be comforted.” (Isaiah 66:13) And He does. If we only let Him.
Where was God when all those bad things happened? Right there. Beside you. Carrying you. And holding you. Helping you through the pain and sorrow.
And one day, you will be equipped to help someone else survive a similar and sometimes tragic event in their life. Because you’ll know how God pulled you through with the help of others around you.
And it will be your turn to do the same.