…God’s Sovereignty in Our Suffering
Written Wednesday afternoon
I have had too much to think about lately. In recent weeks and months I’ve been hit with a few surprises that left me reeling, and reminded me, once again, that our delicate and swift life is like the morning fog. A vapor. A breath.
We are here, and then we’re gone.
A friend lost her leg in a motorcycle accident…
Another lost her husband to cancer while she and her two young daughters now learn to live a different life…
A young mother lost her unborn child, and then her own life hung fragile, in limbo as 95% of her small intestine was destroyed…
Lives changed in an instant.
And as I write this – at this very hour – our friends are laying to rest their 19-year-old son. Suddenly taken over the weekend, in his sleep, leaving us all in a bitter whirlwind of mystery and deep sadness.
It has left me quiet. It has wakened me early and wrestled sleep from my mind as I lay and struggle with how to pray for my brother and sister.
I pondered it while driving into town this afternoon, my own three small children in my backseat. As I topped a hill (an overpass, actually; there are no hills in Beaumont), my vision was struck by a billboard containing one word, in large, stark letters…
Together. It settled in me. I realized that for some of these people for whom I’ve been wrestling in my heart, they and their loved ones will miss together.
For this mother and father who lost their son, not yet twenty, the holidays coming later this year will be different. As family gathers together, there will permanently be one missing. For this mother,… never again on this earth will she be together with her son. Never will she feel his embrace, or his hair between her fingers. Never will she lift his chin or brush his bangs from his face. Never will she give him advice,… or see him marry,… or hold his children on her knee. Never will she rest her weight on him, as she grows old, and he takes the role of caring for her.
For never again on this earth will they be together.
I cannot put myself in her place. For if I do the air becomes so thick I cannot draw breath. How does one go on? How?
I struggle to put words to my prayers. I muster up a why? And a please! And end with, oh God!
Death and loss are no strangers to me. We made our acquaintances early and often in my life. And each time I have rested in the hope and trust that Jesus intercedes for me when I cannot form the words. When they won’t come. I just go silently to the Father. And rest in Him. There are those who say ‘this was God’s will.’ There are others who say, ‘this is sin’s fault; this wasn’t what God wanted.’
I don’t pretend to know the will or ways of God. But I do know this: He is sovereign. He is all powerful and all knowing. He is slow to anger. He is merciful. And He is good.
And I don’t tell myself that one day I’ll see the bigger picture and I’ll understand. Because maybe I won’t. Maybe it will never be God’s plan that I see His bigger picture. But regardless, I still trust Him. And still believe He is sovereign. He is all powerful and all knowing. He is slow to anger. He is merciful. And He is good.
He is so, so good.
And I do know that words will come back to my prayers. That strength will come back to my fainting heart. That I will follow Him and trust Him no matter what. That joy will come in the morning….
And that I will see His face one day… and in that moment all the ‘why’s’ won’t matter. Because I belong to Him.
And this is where the rubber meets the road in having a relationship with the Father. Being able to say, ‘forsaking all, I trust You, and I’m Yours.’
And I do. I am. And when my heart aches… He is sovereign.