Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Wrestling with God

*Disclaimer, God's ways are higher than my ways and I do NOT claim to know why God does what he does. This post is just me working through the tragedy's of last week with a biblical mindset. I am posting in case someone is struggling in the same way.*

I have been wrestling with God about the events of last Friday.  It is so heartbreaking and incomprehensible the evil that took place in that elementary school.  I have been thinking and struggling with what I think about God in light of what happened on Friday and how God could let this awful thing happen. Many people says its the mental health system and its failures (probably true), others are discussing changes in gun control (good idea), but I was interested in the reason behind all of that...how could God let this happen?

More importantly, I wondered who is God? Can I really trust him with my life? If he could allow something this awful to happen, would he bring tragedy to my life too? I worried all last night that Justin would die and I would be left alone without my very best friend to raise Inara and our unborn child. (Not my finest moment and just being honest here). I knew I needed sort this out with God, because what comes to mind when I think about God has very practical implications for how I live my life.  Here is what God showed me through his inspired and divine word.

Who is God?
  • God is a Father.  He knows what it is like to lose a child in a most horrible way
  • God never changes (Heb 13:8) God is the same God as he was before, during, and after the shootings
  • God is in control of everything (The whole book of Job, Isaiah 45:7) Nothing is a surprise for God. He limits, orders, and controls all things...even the really hard and awful stuff
  • God is near to the brokenhearted  (Psalm 34:18)  We are not alone in our suffering
  • God is BIG (Isaiah 55:8) I may never know WHY this and other terrible things happen
  • God experienced loss (Isaiah 53:10, Isaiah 53:4, and John 11:1-36) so he can relate to us 

Can I trust God?
 -Obviously I can, but I needed to see the proof of why I can
  • He has plans not to harm me (Jeremiah 29:11)
  • He works out everything for good (Romans 8:28-39)
  • He is faithful and his mercies never end (Lamentations 3:22-34)
  • He will never leave us for forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6)
  • He is merciful (Deuteronomy 4:31)
  • Where/who else would I go? (John 6:66-69)

These first 2 are hard to hear (but also comforting) during times of loss. It doesn't seem God could use this awful for good, but as I saw above...God is big and his ways are higher than my ways.  I may not see the good from this and other losses, but because of a God's other attributes (faithfulness, merciful, just, sovereign  all knowing etc) I can know those verses are true.

This was a good exercise for me.  The conclusion I came to in regards to my questions is that God is somehow (and I can't explain how) both merciful and just, all knowing and powerful, causes calamity and is near to us, and works all things for our good.  And even though I can explain why on 12/14/12 an unspeakable tragedy happened I can say along with Simon, "Lord, to whom shall I go. You have the words of eternal life".  And much more than "Well, I guess there is no where else to go" and that I can trust God, but that I must and need to trust God. To answer my other question of if God will bring tragedy to my life, my answer is "Yes". I know I am not promised a life free from pain and suffering. It is impossible in our sin filled world. But God promises never to leave me and never to forsake me. And I have seen this first hand and especially when Inara was born. It was awful, but we were never alone. In many ways, I never felt closer to God or more cared for during that time, my miscarriage this year, and early in this pregnancy. And now, this December, my soul is seeing in a new way our great need and great news of Christmas:

"God draws near to those who have lost what is dearest to them. And he does so through his people. And when someone asks us, “Where was God when this happened?” We can say with a hope-filled heart and trembling voice, “God is in the same place today as he was when his own Son hung on a cross. Jesus Christ took all this evil and suffering and swallowed it as a bitter pill. God so loves this sin-sick world that he gave his only Son to it. And whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life with our Father in a world made right. At a time of year when joy and laughter should fill every home, heartbreak and weeping seems out of place. But this is an open door to God's heart. The coming of Immanuel means Herod, murderers, death, and Satan do not win. God is still with us."  David Fairchild, The Resurgence

Here are some other places I found with some helpful insights on what to think:

Here is also a song that now screams at me WHY we need a Christmas and a Savior. This is hard for me to trust God here, but I need him. I don't need better gun control or more guns, I don't need to squeeze Inara tight (although I have done that more this week), I don't need the promise of better health care for the mentally ill (although that will help). I need a Savior. 


  1. WOW. Yes, this is such a big thing and I can relate. It's hard not to let fear creep in and consume you. This is such a good reminder though of what the truth is.

    RYC, THe flash mob is Sunday December 23rd @ 2:30 at the Florence Mall, lower level by Sears. It will start with one soloist and build from there. I will be Mary so you will definitely be able to spot me in a crowd ha ha. I know it's the Sunday before Christmas which is a pretty busy time, but let me know if you can make it. It would be so cool to meet.

  2. Awe that would be awesome to come to the flash mob to see you! Unfortunately I work that night and that is my nap time (I have to schedule my naps for night shift or they don't happen!) Will someone be recording it? You should put it on your blog!


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