Welllll, this blog has been pretty heavy lately. Gotta stick with the trend:
I was up most of the night last night which started out as super annoying because I actually was in bed at 11:08 (only 8 minutes past the goal) in order to get up before 6 this morning. I am a coffee addict and had consumed a bit of the caffeinated goodness a tad too late in the evening. Normally, though, this doesn’t really effect me…
There are a lot of people on my heart right now and the crazy thing is, I don’t even know them. The closest connection is an old friendship with a sister of a brother who I’ve been just really, really praying for. Then the distance goes all the way to the extreme of not knowing the person existed until finding a blog through a blog through a blog. And suddenly, I’m up all night praying.
A 20-something wife of 3 years.
A 3 week old (desperately wanted and prayed for) little boy.
So, I prayed for them most of the night because I know, I know, that I wouldn’t want to grieve that kind of loss alone. And because God kept me awake. I really do love it when He does that because it reminds me that there is so much power in prayer that He makes it a point to get strangers praying when brothers and sisters are grieving.
Here’s the question that has been really nagging at my heart and my brain all day and for the last little while (like a month) … :
Why does God put healthy babies inside women who don’t want a child at all and will forcefully remove that child and kill that perfectly healthy child without a second thought while putting unhealthy babies (or no babies at all) inside women who are longing to be loving mothers, whose sole desire in existing on this earth is to raise beautiful, healthy, happy, God-honoring children? What. The. Heck. God? Infertility is so unfair.
Every single baby is a blessing and children are ALWAYS a gift and even if they only live for 3 weeks, they are precious and their lives are full to the absolute brimmingest with meaning. But why, Jesus, can you not close the wombs of those who kill and open the wombs of those who wish to bestow sacrificial life?
That may be harsh, but I’m really, really wondering… I’m really, really, really wrestling with this.
I said I’d tell the truth.
And why do people so alight with your love have to die? Why so much grief for your people? I know we’ll understand (or just be so overwhelmed with trust that we won’t need to know the ins and outs) when we’re with you someday. But right now? It looks like a giant, ugly, fat, hideous, terrible mess of injustice and a complete lack of mercy and a total absence of power. Not to blaspheme, I know you’re in it, but God? SERIOUSLY?
Ann Voskamp says something along the lines of: unbelief in a Christian heart is the same as atheism. I’m an atheist when I don’t believe in God. Well, yeah, that makes sense.
But with all this pain that I’m seeing splattered all over these lives right now, what. the. heck. God?
So, I’ll leave it there. God? God? God? Are you really, truly good? Show us. Show us your goodness.
I can trust Him to show His goodness from my seat here at the computer in my safe little world with my healthy husband and our prayed-for but not to be for awhile children. But what about when the grief comes to me? Can I, will I, believe then?
Here’s my idea. If I can believe now while they are struggling to breathe, maybe someday, if I am struggling to breathe, other believers can keep believing for me. Maybe that’s why it’s a body- each part necessary and desired and loved and needed. We need each other to keep believing when the world is choking us. When grief is so overwhelming we can’t see, we need someone to hold our hand and walk with us while we stumble forward.
So there’s beauty here. It’s here. It never left. But the ashes still suck. And the beauty still exists. I hope I can see that when I need it most. When I’m the griever needing someone else to sob too. I hope I don’t forget. And I hope they don’t forget right now in the middle of this gut-wrenching death separation. It feels like eternity now but later it won’t. But later is so very far away when you grieve- so far away you forget it even exists because the now is so powerful you can’t hardly stand under its weight, much less look toward something else that might crush more gently. Life crushes and God heals. Refining fires… anvils… hammers… pottery wheels and hot ovens. Not fun at all and most the time it doesn’t even make one tiny ounce of sense. God. Seriously. What the heck?
He’s there, though. In the middle of all the praying, between being awake and asleep, I got one of those *ahaa!* messages from God that applied directly to my life. This feels so small next to the suffering, but oh my word, we need the small things to keep us going through the big things so I’ll share it anyway. When I was younger and going through clarinet competition in band/orchestra/all-state/college placement/etc. my mom/band director would always remind me that God had determined my placement before the audition. Whatever chair I sat in, whatever college I went to, whatever honors band I earned a place it. I was there to minister to the people around me. Last chair? You’re supposed to sit by the second to last chair kid and you’re supposed to be Jesus to them. Middle of the section behind a kid you have beat many times? You’re between two people who don’t know Jesus. Be Jesus to them. Forget the pride, the audition was rigged by loving hands that want more for you. I pass this on to my students all the time. Get over yourself and thank God for his sovereignty.
OKAY. SO THIS IS THE SAME THING AS ADULT LIFE. You are a music teacher and live in an apartment that people turn their nose up at? You have the neighbors God gave you for a reason. You have to work with people who aren’t easy to love and don’t appreciate you and hurt your pride? Um. Jesus loves them an awful lot and wants you to love on them too. You want to buy a house. NOW. ? Um. Not until the house He has for you with the neighbors He wants you to love on is open and available.
The placement isn’t about you, Katie. It’s about Jesus and who He wants to love on through you. Woah. Maybe I took all those auditions JUST for this lesson. Maybe it never had anything to do with my clarinet performance at all.
So, yes. God is there and He is powerful and He plans and orchestrates everything down to the chair a high-school kid sits in in youth orchestra.
Does all that grief suck and do we want to care about those little God-lessons when we’re walking through it? Heck. No.
But, I’m writing it all down so I can remember when I grieve for myself or for others: God is in it. He’s here and He’s working and it’s going to be right someday.
Also, purchasing a house seems like such a non-issue when kids and husbands and wives are dying. Forgive me, Jesus, for my short-sightedness.