I admit, I can’t stomach Christian cliches much anymore. Like when people act like they aren’t worried about something because “God is in control”. Was God not in control the day I woke up to find my baby dead? Or when someone says, “It’s just all a part of God’s perfect plan”. Really? Children being sold into sex slavery and mass school shootings are really just the way God wanted it all along? I guess God’s perfect plan for my son was to suffer his entire life and then die. I cringe when people imply that if we just make it through this or that trial, our lives will be even better on the other side. Quotes like, “Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations”, or “What seem to be bitter trials are just blessings in disguise”. Some people never see the end of their suffering until they die. Can we learn from trials? Absolutely. Can we become better because of trials? One hundred percent yes! But will our life after a trial just be rainbows and butterflies? Hardly.
The more trials I endure, the older I get and the more I delve into life and the Bible, the more I realize how much I don’t know. No matter what you try to tell yourself, there are just questions that we will never have an answer to, maybe not even in eternity. But this I have full confidence in. That the God of the entire universe wanted us to have a free will. That free will came at quite the cost, because when humans have a free will, God is giving them the right to choose and we as humans frequently don’t choose good things. When Adam and Eve sinned, the world was forever changed, cursed in a way, bringing about death and natural illnesses, natural disasters, evil. God did have a plan when He chose to put that tree in the Garden of Eden and that plan was sending His very own son to die, so that we can all spend an eternity living in what God’s true desire was for us all along.
4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
20 “Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his years; the one who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere child; the one who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accursed.
Those verses, those describe God’s perfect plan. God must have a plan because He knows the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10), but is this the world He wanted? Filled with death and destruction and mourning and pain?
John 10:10 describes the devil in this way, ” 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
I think we can rest assured that in our current world, when we see evil and suffering and pain, it’s not from God and when we see how so much good can come out of a horrific tragedy, we are seeing God at work.
Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
I don’t believe God orchestrated the Columbine massacre or my son’s birth defects. Did God want my newborn son to suffer his entire life and then die? Is that exactly how He wanted things to happen? I say no, He didn’t. But what I do know, is that He allowed it. What I do know is that He allowed His own son to suffer unimaginable pain so that my son, could have eternity in heaven. That is what I know. Everything else, I honestly don’t know. I don’t know why God let my son die, while He seems to perform miracles in other babies. I don’t know why my brother died in that school library while other kids got out unscathed. I don’t know why my mom is still cancer free five years later, while both my aunt and uncle died of cancer not long after my mom was diagnosed. What I don’t know is more than what I know, but my faith is in the knowledge that in heaven everything will be made right again and I have a feeling that the suffering we’ve experienced in this short life we live here, will pale in comparison to the overwhelming love and joy we feel for eternity. I do believe God has plans for us here, but we may not experience the full reward for our present suffering until we meet our Savior face to face. We may never get the healing we pray for, or for our loved ones, but God will bring good out of our pain.
Romans 8:18 “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”
Hold on my friends. Hold on to your faith even though life doesn’t seem to be making sense right now. Hold on to your hope because that will be the anchor for your soul. Just keep swimming.