In one unspeakable minute…
…The doctor and nurse exchange silent glances, and a new mother’s heart squeezes out an anguished no…
…The teenager looks up from her algebra paper to the shadow in the classroom doorway, and a bullet divides her life into before and after…
…The squeal of tires and the shattering of glass interrupt the calm of a suburban neighborhood, and a bicycle’s wheel spins crazily beside its broken rider…
For innumerable moments of countless unbearable days…
…heaven is flooded with cries of the heart: Why? Why? Why?
Perhaps the most painful thing—aside from the shock of the doctor’s verdict, the policeman’s guarded eyes—is the cold comfort of well-meaning Christians.
“God has given you this child because you are so special in His eyes.”
--All I ever wanted to be was ordinary.
“You’re such an inspiration. You’re so brave. You’re so lucky the injury wasn’t worse.”
--I never asked to inspire anybody. And I don’t feel brave, or lucky.
“You’ll be able to counsel grieving people better, because of your loss. It will help you to do your job better.”
--If I could have my child back, I’d flip burgers for the rest of my life.
After my own unspeakable minute, my whys flew heavenward for months. I never got the answer I sought, but here are some truths that I have come to know:
God is holy, and His ways are holy. His motives, therefore, are often unknowable.
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,"
declares the LORD.
"As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV
Would I have it any other way? How small my God would be, if His every act could be placed in a pretty box and tied up with a tidy ribbon! How little faith would then be required of me!
* * *
In response to my why, He answered not because but rather my daughter, I love you. Trust Me.
Though he brings grief, he will show compassion,
so great is his unfailing love. For he does not willingly bring affliction
or grief to the children of men.
Lamentations 3:32-33 NIV
God wept when I wept.
* * *
My circumstances do not change God’s love for me, so they need not dictate the condition of my spirit.
Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.
Habakkuk 3:17-18 NIV
When I was finally willing to loosen my grasp on why—that prickly cactus—only then was I able to take hold of what God’s hand extended to me: Joy, a shining gem.
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