How are you doing?

Many people have asked in the last few weeks how we are doing, and we are SO thankful for your prayers and your willingness to grieve with us. It is a hard question to answer, because we want to be honest, but there just isn't a good answer without writing a short novel.

So that's what I did. Just kidding, kind of. :) There are moments that are harder than I could have imagined. I heard a quote that says, "We expect faith to make it hurt less, but it doesn't. It keeps us from despair, but it doesn't take the pain away."

But, while grieving the loss of our son has been much harder than I expected, God's presence has also been much sweeter than I could have expected. He has provided through many of you, but most of all, He has provided Himself. And we are finding Him to be enough.

I wanted to share with you a little of what He has been teaching me in the last few weeks, and I hope it is encouraging to you as well.

I have been reading a book by Nancy Guthrie, called “Hearing Jesus Speak into your Sorrow”. This book (and her other books) have been so helpful to me over the last few weeks, and I highly recommend them for anyone who is wrestling with God’s goodness in the midst of hard things.

In this book, she talks about the story in Mark 1:40-42. A man with leprosy comes to Jesus, and says, “If you will, you can make me clean.” Then it says-moved with pity, Jesus touched him and said, “I will, be clean.”

As beautiful as this is for the leper in the story, it becomes problematic when I suffer. Why was Jesus not moved by pity for my son?  For me? For my husband? My friends and family? I KNOW He was able. Why was He not willing?

But then Jesus in His mercy reminds me that He did not come primarily to heal our bodies, but our sinful hearts. If the question is “Jesus, if you will, you can make me clean from sin.” - His answer is always, I am willing, be clean.”

He was so willing in fact, that it says in Isaiah 53:5 that He was pierced for our transgression, crushed for our iniquities. He took the chastisement that brought us peace. By His wounds we are healed.

When I see my sin for what it is, I can rejoice in what Jesus was willing to do. But too often, I see my sin as a sniffle. A cold that will most likely go away if I wait long enough.

But my sin is leprosy. A deadly, infectious disease, that not only doesn’t go away on its own, it will kill me. It had no cure. But Jesus, because He was willing, became that cure, and died in my place to forgive my sin.

I have no problem with a good God, a loving Father, allowing Jesus to suffer on the cross. Jesus being God, did not count equality with God something to be grasped, but emptied Himself, became a servant, and was obedient to the point of death. Death on a cross. For me.

And yet, when I suffer, I have a problem with a good God, a loving Father, allowing me to suffer. I want to remind God of His promises. In Revelation 21:4 it says that He will wipe away every tear. Death shall be no more. There will be no more mourning, crying, or pain.

And these promises are true. But they are future promises. God WILL fulfill His promises. But they are for the coming age. Not for now. For now, Jesus promised that we WOULD have sorrows. That we would suffer. But He also promised to be with us through the Holy Spirit. So I can rest in the future promise, but I can’t demand those promises now.

Jesus came to destroy the root of death, sorrow, mourning, pain, and tears. He came to destroy sin. But for now, we live in the in-between. The already, but not yet.

Jesus was willing to heal my son from sin. He healed his little body as well. Not in a second best, or incomplete way, but entirely. He is whole and with Jesus.

Too often I want God’s promise for complete healing now. I expect what God has only promised in the coming age – right now. God’s purpose is not to rid my life of pain, but of sin.

In Luke 15:11-16, the prodigal son says to his father, “Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.” In our impatience, we want the inheritance that God has promised for eternity - on earthly terms. We desire physical healing and the absence of sorrow, more than we desire our Father’s presence in our lives.

And sometimes the Lord, in mercy and grace, gives us healing, and keeps us from sorrow. Praise God for that. It is a good gift. But may we not squander that gift by pridefully leaving our Father.

May we instead draw near to our good Father, that longs to give us good gifts. Both in this age, and the age to come. May we rejoice in our salvation, the willingness of our Father to forgive sin, and make us clean. May we trust Him, knowing that one day, He will make all things new.

Comments

  1. Wow. Thank you so much for sharing this. This is a great reminder to me--God's purpose is not to rid my life of pain, but of sin.

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  2. Thanks for sharing Danyelle. I'm heartbroken by the loss of your son. Thank you for being honest with your pain.

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