“You hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny.” Psalm 73:23, 24 NLT
It’s quite common to look for someone to blame after losing a precious loved one. Sometimes, out of deep despair, the one we blame is God. I can’t condemn these actions any more than I can whip the cat. I probably blamed Him in the beginning. We might call our blaming or ranting, “trash talk,” but I don’t think it is really intended to insult God. Could it be pain talking?
Some readers may feel a friendship with my cat, Pippy, who has been the topic of my stories on a number of occasions. Take today for instance. He’s usually fast asleep during the midday hours, but for some reason he’s eyeing me warily. Hmmm. Could it be because I see a trash can turned over, and the contents spilled out, as if someone, or in this case, “some thing,” was searching for treasure. Really? Like many other mornings, I pick it all up and stuff it back in the can again, all the while muttering “trash talk” to myself.
There is rarely a morning that I don’t find a trash can on its side, with the floor littered with yesterday’s trash. I’ve yet to figure out what he’s rooting for, but he loves to pilfer through the can looking for something, perhaps a wrapper with a hint of something sweet on it. Who knows? Do I hate him for making a mess? No. Do I whisk him off to the pound, knowing full well that he won’t be given another home? No. I love my cat in spite of all his foibles, frustrating though it may be.
Along this same train of thought, but spiritually speaking, do you think our actions frustrate God? Do you think it hurts His feelings when we blame Him for tearing our family apart? Is He guilty of what we accuse Him of? Does He love us whether we love Him in return or not? The Bible says He does. Even in the depth of our sin, He sent His only Son to take our sins onto Himself; He who knew no sin. He stayed on that cruel cross and died to save you and me from eternal extinction so that we never have to pay the death penalty for our own sins (Romans 6:23). If you remember only one line from this post, let it be this: saving humanity cost Jesus everything.
I don’t know about you, but I have contemplated whether or not I blame God for allowing my child to choose death over life. Because He has all power and therefore, could use it to save my son, I asked Him in my heart, “Why didn’t you save my son from death? I’m his mother, so You should do what I think is best, right?” Within the total silence that followed these two questions, came this thought . . . is it possible that it takes all of God’s power to resist stepping in?
There will come a day when I will be able to ask all my questions and get God’s answers. Meanwhile, I will never understand His mind, for His Word says, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9 AMP
Over the years since my son’s untimely death, I have slowly begun to learn how to love God more deeply than I’ve ever loved anyone before, including my children. God will never leave or forsake you and me (Hebrews 13:5). He will never slam the door in our faces because we scream in His. God is love. He can be no other way. Granted, it does not answer the “why” questions or bring our children back ~ not yet anyway. What He does encourage us to do, is to get to know Him just like we get to know a new friend. He asks that we take time to read about His character, and try to be more like Him. In doing so, our hearts are likely to melt in surrender to our loving heavenly Father, who loves all of His children equally.
Learning to be open to God, comes naturally as we surrender to the wooing of the Holy Spirit. I have found this to be true in my own life since my son died, and I never want to return to the person I was before ~ while he was alive. I know, I know. It’s risky to write that down. It sounds impossible to think, and unbelievably hard to admit, but it is my personal truth. If you strongly disagree, I understand. I took the same stance in the beginning, but over time, God has become more precious than breath, and I know with assurance that one day, He will restore our children. Meanwhile, I lean not on my own understanding, but on His (Proverbs 3:5).
“Whenever God thinks of you, he has your best interests in mind; he has plans to take you further, deeper, and higher than you ever dreamed. This process begins when you seek God and spend time with him. Look for every opportunity to know God.” Margaret Feinberg, Se