Talk about jumping into the “deep end” of the pool! 🙂
This was the question on the heart of a dear sister-in-Christ today. She knows a lot of My Story — the things You rescued me from and in. The things that almost killed me.
She wondered how I could reconcile that a loving God could allow such suffering.
You gave me words to say, Lord. Words that came from deep inside me. Because You planted and nurtured them there, through many many years of Healing.
Healing in my mind and my heart.
I do not “sugar coat” the wildernesses in my past. Nor do I pretend Your Healing comes like a magic wand or pill. Such profound and priceless Healing does not happen overnight.
But there is no mistaking The Truth: Your Healing does come. Into the most “impossibly” broken souls.
“With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26)
My Healing Journey started long before I met You, Lord. Although You were unknown to me, I was not unknown to You.
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart…” (Jeremiah 1:5)
This question of suffering is so much bigger than the words I could write in one post. But in the few minutes You gave me today with this beautiful sister, You prompted me to share particular thoughts. Thoughts that come with maturity.
Babies — even spiritual ones — are not equipped to digest solid food. But adults — especially spiritual ones — cannot become all You have destined us to be if we are forever nibbling on pablum.
My friend was asking meaty questions today. So at Your leading, Lord, we feasted a bit… on some meaty answers.
Meaty Dish #1: You have given us free will and You will not violate it. Otherwise, we would just be robots… and neither You nor we would want that outcome. Unfortunately, that means we all (at times) exercise our free will to make very bad choices.
Meaty Dish #2: Such choices have consequences, including (at times) significant hurts. To us and to others. And You don’t usually prevent those consequences, Lord… even when they are devastating.
Meaty Dish #3: Sometimes other devastating things happen that no one could have anticipated or caused. This list is long and includes things like cancer.
Meaty Dish #4: You are Sovereign and All-powerful, Lord. Meaning You could prevent any devastation, if You would so choose. Meaning nothing happens to us that You haven’t allowed to happen.
What did I say to all this? What can I say? Only what You have proven to me, Lord… beyond the shadow of any doubt.
There are some “why” questions I will not know the answer to this side of Heaven. If I could “get my head around” every question, You would be too small a God. And I desperately need for You to be a BIG God. Because I have BIG needs.
“… let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation… For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods. In His hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to Him. The sea is His, for He made it; and His hands formed the dry land.” (Psalm 95:1b,3-5)
Mine is not “blind” faith; it is Faith with my eyes wide open. It is Faith with my mind wide open… at least, longing to be. Wide open to You, Lord. Willing to ask the tough questions and reason together with You.
Sometimes the answers are clear. And when they are not, I am willing to live without answers. To love You and trust You… no matter what.
Why? Because I know Your heart, Lord. I know Your touch. I know the security of Your Unfailing Love for me. I know the power of Your promises to me. Because You have made them jump off the pages of Your Word and become real in my Life.
Promises like how You will cause all things — even the most devastating — to be turned into good for me (Romans 8:28). Like drawing me closer than ever to You. And teaching and transforming me through those “all things” in ways that could not have happened anywhere else.
I would not trade a single moment for all the treasures on earth.
Much more was said today. There is much more still to say. At the core of it all, You are speaking LIFE to us, Lord. So that we will choose Life — even in the Valley of the Shadow.
You reminded me of that great song by Toby Mac, “Speak Life.” What song could be more perfect as an exclamation point to our sharing?! Too bad I didn’t have it with me…
Our time ended today. I got into my car to drive home and turned on the radio.
The very first thing I heard was Tony Evans speaking about… why You allow suffering, Lord! AMAZING!!! As I listened to what he was saying, I wondered: Has he been eavesdropping on our conversation this whole time??? 🙂 How could I miss such a clear confirmation of the many truths we had shared?!
Then Tony Evans finished speaking. A song started next… and I thought, “NO WAY!!!”
YES, WAY! 🙂 “Speak Life” by Toby Mac!!! 🙂 What a coincidence! (Yeah, right!) 🙂
Thank You, Lord, for SPEAKING LIFE… to me, into me, over me, and through me! Thank You for reaching down from Heaven to take hold of me, drawing me out of deep waters and rescuing me from my powerful enemy! (Psalm 18:16-17)
Thank You, Jesus, for suffering more for me than I have ever — or will ever — suffer. Through no fault of Yours and every fault of mine. And thank You for helping me always — in days past and the future yet to come — find eternal purpose in my pain.
Thank You! Thank You! Thank You, Lord! Why am I not surprised that tomorrow is Thanksgiving? 🙂