A friend and I have been emailing back and forth a lot lately, about God and loss, about how to move forward in your life when things are falling apart around you and completely out of your control.
She posed a question to me in her last email that really got me thinking. It’s not a question that I haven’t thought of myself many times, but it was the way she worded it.
Basically she mentioned how when good things happen to us, we praise God for His blessing upon us. We give him all the credit for the good. But when the bad happens, we say things like, “God can’t intervene and stop the bad. People have free will. We live in a broken world” And those things ARE all true, and I believe them whole heartedly. But I admit, I paused when I read her words. If God intervenes in our life enough to bless us with good things, why DOESN’T he intervene and stop the junk from happening?
And the truth is, this is just one of those questions Christians and non Christians alike have been asking themselves for ages. It’s one of the biggest questions out there – why would a good God let awful things happen? Why does He allow suffering and pain when He COULD wipe it all out? And why are we quick to jump in and offer praise over the good but write off the bad with a shrug and a quick response about free will and a broken world?
I was chatting with my husband about it, trying to figure out how I could translate my thoughts, my feelings, my faith into words that would make enough sense. How could I give her the right words to express what I know in my heart to be true? That sometimes there are no concrete answers our human minds can understand and sometimes it takes just pure and complete faith that He is there and He loves us.
Then Todd said something that I will never forget.
He said, “It all comes back to the cross, Miranda. Imagine you just had one son. Just one. He’s your only son, your only child. How much would you have to love someone else to give him up? How much love would you have to feel to sacrifice your only son for people who sometimes hate you? For people who don’t care about you? To see your only son being tortured and in complete agony and not swoop in and take it all away…”
It’s not that this is a new concept for me – of course I know and believe that God sent His son to suffer for the sins of the world – for all of us. But it was really good to reframe that idea – instead of wondering why God won’t save US from our troubles, we can look to the cross and know that there has to be something bigger for us. He didn’t save his only son from being crucified and hung on a cross to die a slow and unbelievably painful death.
He did that for US and that means that even though we may not understand why we struggle or why unfair things happen in our lives and in the lives of those we know and love – the cross is always a great reminder to keep going and to have faith. To look forward because there IS something better.
John 3:16, “For God so loved<sup class="crossreference" style="background-color: white; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(A)”> the world that he gave<sup class="crossreference" style="background-color: white; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(B)”> his one and only Son,<sup class="crossreference" style="background-color: white; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(C)”> that whoever believes<sup class="crossreference" style="background-color: white; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(D)”> in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”