Two years ago, one of my students in Sunday School died from cancer. The whole congregation, along with his family, mourned. I did. And along with that mourning, I began to question God's grace.
"Lord, why did you let this happen to a 13-year old boy, so cute, so young, and full of aspirations in life."
I was crying. Though I did not want to question God's will, human as I am, I was blinded by pain and disappointment over Maverick's death.
Pain. I've been Maverick's teacher for almost two years. Time passed, we shared not only a teacher-student relationship, but friendship as well. As a teacher, I always make it a point to befriend my students. That way, it would be easy for me to reach out to them and sow them the seeds of Biblical foundation. And so we became friends. But really, life has its own way of throwing these curve balls at us. Just when the time that we became so close, I was left with no choice but to let go of him. Letting go, as always, is easier said than done.
Disappointment. Throughout Maverick's struggle with cancer, we were there for him. I can still remember the day when I gathered all my Sunday School's students to visit Maverick in the hospital. I've assigned at least five studes to pray for Maverick. Tears rolled down freely, as I listened to their prayers. Little voices, yet so powerful and hopeful. I left the hospital, along with the children, with my firm hope that Maverick would recover soon. That it was just one of his struggles in life and that God would make a way when there seems to be no way.
I was wrong...or so I thought.
No words could describe how I've felt when I heard the news. Maverick was gone. We lost him.
And then I cried out to God:
"Twas just a simple request Lord.. why did You not grant it. Maverick's classmates were hoping for an answered prayer..I was hoping..all of us. Why?"
It was our exam week, but not wanting to miss Maverick's first wake I decided to go home.
On board the bus, I asked God to just give me even a very simple explanation why things happened the way they did. I was begging Him to just give me even a "gist" of His thinking. I was on doubt that time, but I did not let my faith falter because of it. I knew He has a reason. There were many questions playing in my mind that time, but with faith I prayed:
"Lord, because of the things that happened, my faith in You is like a puzzle with one missing piece. No matter how small that piece may be, I need it to make the puzzle whole. Please help me find it...please."
For awhile, I opted to close my eyes. And then His answer came.
"My dear child, I know that you prayed, not just once but many times. But you forgot the line, "not my will but Yours be done," in your prayers. Always remember that My thoughts are higher than your thoughts and My ways are higher than your ways, and that knowing what is best for you, I could not just grant everything that you asked for. Maverick may leave your world, but don't worry. He is in good hands. Gone are his sufferings and pain. I love Maverick much as all of you love him...that's why I took Him in my loving arms."
Hearing all these things, I did nothing but cry. How come that I doubted God's grace. How could I question His ways. Realizing all these things, I asked God for His forgiveness and thanked Him for the wisdom that He gave for me to understand things as complicated as such. I was relieved. The missing piece was back and the puzzle is whole again.
Just then, I've felt something on my shoulder.
It was the driver. I've fallen asleep during the two-hour journey home. But I did not mind. God visited me in my sleep. And He answered all my questions. My faith is whole again. Battling with yourself is a hard battle, but I knew that I fought the good fight of faith. And so did Maverick.