Three deaths. Three funerals. Three weeks.
A trinity of holy.
35 years old. Husband. Father of three. Killed in a car crash.
62 years old. Friend. Sister of one of my best friends. Heart attack.
88 years old. Ministry partner for years.
So how can such suffering, so close together, be holy? All are grieving, some knowing God, some wondering.
Everyone wonders, I think. Does God exist? If God exists, does he care? If he exists and he cares then why does the Holy allow such suffering?
I’ve pondered such questions for decades. Now I’m at peace. There are things I believe because I’ve experienced. There are things I accept by faith because I’m now comfortable with mystery, with not knowing everything, with knowing enough that the stuff I don’t know doesn’t threaten me or throw me off.
With age and experience, wisdom sometimes comes.
Still, sometimes I wonder.
Sometimes I wonder if I’ve built my entire life on a belief that might turn out to be false. But then I shake the fanged serpent from my mind.
Because I know.
I know because I’ve lived. I’ve lived too many years and seen too many miracles to believe in coincidence or intentional thinking or any explanation other than the power of Christ crucified and resurrected from death.
I know too much to believe in anything other than the entire gospel of Jesus Christ beginning in Genesis of Old and ending in Revelation of New. I’ve lived long enough and experimented widely enough with so many belief systems, so many religions. I now know. No other belief system, no other religion aligns with reality like biblical Christianity.
Still, we have to deal with death, with suffering, with many kinds of death. Knowing what I know doesn’t make me immune from pain. But it does explain. And there’s comfort in knowing, believing, answering the “WHY”.
We all want to know why. Why death?
God has explained. We all must deal with physical death, sooner or later. Because this is the wage of sin. We turned from our true life with God.
And what about all the smaller deaths we mourn? The relationships, the dreams, the hopes, everything and anything we pursue to fill us whole?
Truth is . . .
God is True Life. Satan counterfeits. And we all fall for the fake, at some time or another, in one way or another. No one is immune. Deaths of all sorts will grieve us until the God of Ages comes again and restores his creation. Until we all see face-to-face.
Believers and non-believers all end in the same place for now. Dead.
Question is, where will we go?
Question is, how can we live while we’re still here?
That’s what I think about, mostly. How will I live while I’m still here? How does my belief in Christ counter the common, unconscious drives of all humans? How will my relationship with Christ free me from false gods, false beliefs, false hopes of filling my soul?
I wonder . . .
When will I, when will we, come to the realization that no family, no ideology, no psychology, no technology will bring us what we want, ultimately?
That blessing we pursue all our lives so we’ll feel worthwhile, loved, special?
Always looking, looking, looking.
Thinking we’ve found, found, found.
And then we lose, lose, lose.
And then we scramble to fill our leaking soul holes with something, something, something.
On and on we go. When we’ll stop, God only knows.
We the living dead keep looking for God-substitutes, always ready to make an idol of the lying promising, always looking for a MESSIAH.
How many stumbles will we take? How many wrong turns will we make?
Until we stop.
And see the One who has stood in one place all along, watching, waiting—for the one he loves to turn—and be healed by the Holy.
Only Christ can save us from the certain implosion of Self.
Only Christ can make our blind eyes see.
Only the crucified Christ can resurrect the dead in us all.
So here we are in our suffering, trying to discover the meaning. I wonder. If Christ saved through suffering, should we seek to avoid our own? Of should accept what we cannot change and ask Jesus to use every bit of suffering to save the lost so they, too, can find True Life?
I write in this small space—a space among millions—to testify to this truth . . .
God works miracles through suffering.
God wastes nothing.
What evil intends for harm, God transforms for good.
For death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart. Ecclesiastes 7:2
On this mountain he will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations; he will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove the disgrace of his people from all the earth. The LORD has spoken. In that day they will say, “Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us. This is the LORD, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation. Isaiah 25:7-9