My personal story begs the question. After 14 months of (mostly) forward progress, we find ourselves taking a whole lot of disappointing steps backward. I’ve had 40 seizures in just the past two weeks, and all of them were triggered by lights in my own apartment. But today’s post is not really about me. It’s about a whole lot of other stories that are just as raw and just as real.
I’m not sure if the accident has helped more broken people open up to us, or if it simply opened our eyes to the suffering we used to pass by without in-depth consideration. We know several people with epilepsy or who’ve had strokes. There are sick children and sick grown ups. Some of them die. There are drugs. There are lost jobs. None of the sufferers – or their families – can be what they once were. Broken people are scary to approach if you’ve never been broken yourself, and I don’t begin to know how some of these losses feel since each broken person is different. Nevertheless, I hope I can talk with them and pray for them better since I do understand pain, frustration, and confusion a whole lot more than before. Stepping away from our personal circle, though, there are greater national and global tragedies that not only wreck lives but eliminate them, too. So, what do we do with ourselves? And what do we do with God?
Let’s talk about the God question first. With all the messed up people and places in this world, how can anyone possibly call God kind? Let’s be curious together…I know I need that answer too.
Since our question concerns God, maybe He should speak for Himself first.
“For rarely will someone die for a just person – though for a good person perhaps someone might even dare to die. But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” ~ Romans 5:7-8
We broke God’s world by choosing bad things over His good way. I know I’ve done things I’m not proud of. Instead of holding me to what I chose, God broke Himself for me so He wouldn’t have to leave me broken forever. Why would He chose to break Himself? I don’t think I’ve ever chosen brokenness over wholeness.
“So that in the coming ages He might display the immeasurable riches through His kindness to us in Christ Jesus.” ~ Ephesians 2:7
We can rely on His brokenness now, so that we will be able to experience the richness of His wholeness when He makes all things right. I know I often wish for a “fast-forward” button to the day when God returns to His earth and brings healing to creation – and to all who trusted Him in the meantime…BUT…
“God, Your faithful love is so valuable that people take refuge in the shadow of your wings.” ~ Psalm 36:7
We would have no idea of how faithful and valuable God really is if we never knew loss in some capacity. We have souls that live forever, but our physical conditions are only temporary. Our job is to cling to eternity, and to the hope that we will enjoy God most fully at the end of our earthly life. Until then, we have the beautiful (albeit sometimes painful) opportunity to know God as a faithful refuge.
If we look beyond the temporary, God is indeed kind. Trusting that is what we do with ourselves.