As we come to the close of another year, it's natural to ponder and reflect.
This year, however, is throwing in some curve balls that have forced some painful and difficult reflections and questions.
I have the honor of being a part of an incredible church family here in our neck of the woods. It's a close-knit group of about 120-130 people. God has been moving in some absolutely amazing ways as well. It has been so awesome to watch Him move. Because of that closeness, when one member of our body aches...we all ache. And we have been aching a lot lately...
We've had blow after blow this year and even more so in the last month. And today we got word that a sweet sister in Christ is now literally at the feet of Jesus.
When tragedy strikes....particularly death, it's natural to begin asking questions.
It's also natural and very easy to begin to question God during these times.
"Why would God allow this?"
"What is the purpose in this?"
"How can this possibly be good?"
These are questions that we all ask at some point in our lives- especially when things seem to slip out of our facade of control. It can be unsettling....the unknown. We don't have control over anything, even though we fool ourselves into thinking we do. And when these reminders hit us square in the face, it jolts us back into reality and reminds us that we are simply a vapor here in the grand scheme of things. And that can cause these questions to come reeling into our purview.
But you see, these questions that I listed earlier....they are the wrong questions to ask.
We have a skewed view of...well everything really. Our view is broken. It broke that day, many years ago, in the garden when Eve believed the lie of the serpent. And it's been broken ever since. We can't understand the tough questions. It isn't possible. Why?? Because we too are broken.
You see, God is perfection personified. He is the definition of good. He is the standard. All things perfect and good are measured on His scale. He defines it.
But our world is so blinded and broken by sin, so it distorts our view and causes us to ask the wrong questions. Instead of asking "why....what now....what's next.....why would God allow this??", we need to be asking this:
"How will God be glorified through this?"
"How can this point someone to Him?"
"How can He use this for His glory?"
I once heard someone say "We are basically immortal until God's part of His plan for us is through.". That is SO comforting to me. It removes the illusion of my control and places it back where it belongs- in the perfect, good, just, merciful, and grace-filled hands of my Savior. His plans are always
for good because He is good.....even though my definition of good isn't always the same as His. So I'm here as long as He needs me to be. When my part has been played out, I get to join Him face-to-face. When He removes us from this world, our hope and prayer is that it's because He will use it to bring someone to Him. When we begin to view things this way and ask the right questions, it gives Him the glory He deserves. We were created for His glory to begin with. So when we enter into tragedy with a cross-focused view, it gives Him the glory and it also brings comfort to us as well.
Even with the right view, it doesn't necessarily dull the pain. But we serve a God who has suffered more than we could ever imagine. He understands...He cares....He heals.
Lean into Jesus. Press into our Savior who is good. Allow Him to restore and heal you. And rest in His promise that He has come to seek and to save.