I’ve dealt with a lot of loss and death in my lifetime. Maybe not any more than others, but I’ve certainly been to my fair share of funerals. Family members that I loved deeply have gone on to be with God either through illness or complete tragedy or both. People who have known me my entire life and those who I met in the last 10 years of life have died – both kinds of losses impacted me, my family or my church family deeply. So, I know how it feels to lose someone.
And then there are losses that you simply can not explain. Losses that leave you weak in your stomach and make you cry at the most inopportune times. Some losses literally cut you to your core. It doesn’t even have to be your loss. It can be a loved ones personal loss that brings you to your knees. Your love for them coupled with your life experience can leave you asking existential questions.
God, why would you allow this?
There’s a song sung by Twinkie Clark. It says,
Accept what God allows
You’re better off anyway
Face the facts
And you will never stray
Turn your faith a loose
He’ll bring you out and give you all the proof
So don’t question God
Just accept what God allows
If that song ever resonated with me, it doesn’t now. Facing the facts is hard and often causes us great pain. Feeling that pain without the appropriate coping mechanisms and spiritual foundation can definitely lead us astray. I have no idea what the song meant by “turn your faith a loose” but I assume it’s like putting your faith into action in your situation. Listen when trauma has gripped you, that faith can seem non-existent. And don’t get me started on questioning God. Questioning God is not an act of spiritual treason. It is, however, a way to be in authentic conversation and relationship with the One who sits with us in these trials. Asking questions is a part of the human experience. “Why did you allow this to happen? Why do bad things happen to good people? Where were You when this was happening God? If you loved me, You would have intervened.” These are all thoughts I’ve pondered and questions people have asked. It feels weighty and difficult and hard to comprehend. And to make matters worse, accepting what God allows doesn’t take away the pain, the hurt and the frustration of loss, trials or tribulations.
So what do we as believers do?
I don’t know that I will ever have the answer to that question.
I don’t think I will ever be able to rationalize the losses we’ve taken.
I do know this. God has brought us through before and I’m trusting that God can do it again.
That is the hope that I have. That even when I can’t trace God, I can trust that God will at some point move me through this season of loss into the next season of life. And it’s in the hope for another season that my faith in God is renewed – even in the face of unnecessary pain.
Hold on to God even when accepting what God allows seems like too much.
Maybe that’s an oxymoron. Maybe it doesn’t make sense. In fact, I know it doesn’t make logical sense and that’s why people think that believers are crazy. It takes a little peculiarity to trust a God who doesn’t always step in when we feel like God should.
But I know God loves us and God never delights in our pain. So ask your questions, cry, scream and feel. And then put your hand in the hand of the One who comforts and heals.