Today we received the sad news that one of our friends committed suicide leaving behind a grieving wife and a handful of beautiful children.Â About a month ago our church grieved with a family whose two-year old had stumbled into the pool while playing in the backyard.Â We all sensed extreme loss knowing this amazing family had lost a critical component to their identity.Â These two horrific eventsÂ are servingÂ as bookends of a sort to my own experience.Â They have left me with a nagging question whose answer seems elusive:Â Why am I alive and they are not?
Â Why did the Father choose to let me live and not these?Â Surely I am not more spiritual or deserving–one was a two-year old!Â If any deserves life is it not that of a young child?Â It couldn’t be that I have more money, or giftings, or even purpose.Â I am not more loved or less hated.Â Surely I was not less sinful–I know my own life and the depth of my sin trumps anything a two-year old can muster.Â So why has the Father chosen to bring their earthly lives to a close while mine receives another volume?
Let me say that in this whole process I have not, nor do I now doubt the sovereignty of God.Â He has been the King; He is the King; He forever will be the King.Â His love is unfathomable, HisÂ mercies areÂ new every morning, and His grace continues to seperate me from my sin–as far as the east is from the west.Â But I still have that nagging question…
Questions are OK.Â I’ve been reading “Velvet Elvis” by Rob Bell and one of his first chapters deals with questions.Â Life is complex.Â Circumstances are hard.Â Questions are inevitable; answers are few.Â This does not make me a doubter–only inquisitive.Â And while I have a sense of “risk” in asking the question, there is also this deep seeded sense of freedom that the eventual answer will only draw me closer to Him and grant me anotherÂ glimpse into this mysterious nature and character of our great and fiersome God.
I turn to the scriptures for comfort.Â While this one does not answer my question, it does bring me peace:Â “And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.”Â 1 Peter 4:10
If you still suffer with the loss of a loved one, please know my prayers are with you tonight.