When Assumptive Beliefs
With Reality in Child-Loss...
God Will Come and Meet You
Where You Are...
When God "happens" to us, we are undone.
There is nothing more to say.
He is God -- omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent -- and we are not.
But He is also LOVE -- and when we feel that love, THAT makes ALL the difference!
After God met Job where he was and challenged all His faulty assumptions about God, He then chastises Job's friends for their despicable words that misrepresented Himself to Job. He declares to these friends that He is pleased with Job who had spoken rightly of Him. So God tells the "friends" that He will not punish them if His servant Job prays for them...
Job prayed for his friends. God forgave them. Then God blessed Job and surrounded him with his loved ones to comfort and console him (Job 42).
Job's so-called friends had unleashed on him all their faulty assumptive beliefs about God, accusing Job of being prideful and that he must be hiding some sin or he wouldn't be suffering so...
We know now that Job was not punished by God because of any sins he had committed.
It was quite the opposite!
It was because Job was such a righteous, God-fearing man that Satan wanted to test him, trusting that Job would reject God when all his blessings had been removed.
Satan (NOT God) taunted Job!
And it was because of Job's righteousness, NOT because of his sin that Satan wanted to taunt him!
When our own assumptive beliefs fly out of their nicely-ordered cage, what will we do? Will we bring our angst, our hurt, our questions, our concerns directly to God for His cage-cleaning?
Will we accept His assessment?
God comes to meet us where we are...exactly where we are.
You may not have Job's questions.
You may not have my questions.
Job's approach was, I'll take God to trial as if He were in a court of law, and I'll cross-examine Him. God allowed that, but He remained true to Himself and said, in essence,
"Now Job, let Me question you, cross-examine you, and put you on trial lest you think you can understand the Living, Infinite God with your limited, finite mind."
My questions were different from Job's...
As a part of a group of three sets of sisters in my college years, I vividly remember our group, "The Singing Sisters," singing in beautiful four-part harmony a haunting and heart-wrenching song whose words resonated with my teenage heart and spirit.
This song gave me a strong sense of the life of suffering that God asks us to be willing to undergo for His sake, in order to love others...like He loved us.
The words to this song were so powerful to me that I wrote them in the back of my Bible almost forty years ago, and they are still in the back of my favorite Bible that I use to this day. Here are the heart-wrenching and soul-challenging words that I wrote into my Bible:
"So send I you to hearts made hard by hatred,
To eyes made blind...because they will not see,
To spend though it be blood, to spend and spare not...
So send I you...to taste of Calvary...
As the Father hath sent Me, so send I you."
So when I came before the Lord in my angst and sorrow a few weeks after the dust had settled that Merry Katherine really had been killed and had been buried... then I took some time, came before the Lord, and finally I cried my heartfelt cry out to the Lord,
"Lord?! I knew You called me to a life of potential suffering and death for Your sake. And I was willing to do that...."
Then with angst and grief spasms, I cried out,
"But Lord?! This was my CHILD!"
Thinking there would be an equally strong reaction from God, either one of His recognizing His mistake and its gross injustice, or one of dismay with me and reacting by arguing with me, I began to listen. (I think too, I had uttered all that I could utter in that last cry. There was no more to say.)
Instead of God's agreeing that He had made a mistake of gross injustice, or His taking me on with torrents of recoiling and chastising reproof, He conversely met me, joined me in my sorrow, sharing His broken heart with me:
"I know. I lost My Child too."
His simple words of kindness, of truth, and of complete sacrificial love broke my heart in two.
His simple words were my soul's undoing. Like Job, I too was "undone."
A similar song that broke my heart over and over long before I ever even THOUGHT about having any children of my own was the third verse of the song, "How Great Thou Art,"
"And when I think that God, His Son not sparing,
sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in,
That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin..."
Throughout my life and still to this day (I am weeping even now), these words penetrate my soul and bring my heart to its knees and tears to my eyes.
So when my very tender loving Father God spoke these very sentiments so simply to me as He came to me, to meet me IN my pain, His sentiments of
"I know. I lost My Child too,"
He knew these words would resonate with my childlike heart so pierced with the suffering of His Own heart over the loss of His Own Child.
My heart was brought down to its knees, completely undone at such LOVE that His Father's heart had shown to make such an unspeakable sacrifice of His Own Son for us.
(I could not bear to lose my child, much less would I be able to send her into this world In Order To Die!
It was, and still is, inconceivable to me, the amount of pain that His Son's death must have caused our Father God, and yet He carried that pain in His heart that we might live, that I might live, that my own precious child might live...)
I was immediately undone with that truth that as horrendous as my pain was, God Himself SENT His Son to die, for me, and for my child. He KNEW the hell His own Child would have to go through, but SENT HIM HERE for that purpose to rescue us.
And because of that sacrifice, I had the comfort of knowing that even though my child had died, because of God's enduring the hell of losing His child, my child can now enjoy LIFE, and LIFE ETERNALLY, living with the LIVING GOD forever and EVER.
Wow! What a complete paradigm shift to my questions!
And what LOVE stopped me in my tracks!
Amazing Love! How Can it Be?!
As I said, your questions may not be Job's questions.
Your questions to God may not be my questions to Him.
You have your own questions. You have your own confusion. You have your own hurts. And God knows where you are. And God will meet you where you are.
But also remember, God brings Himself to the equation (for nothing fits together without His Person in the midst of it). He does not alter His character for us, but reaches out to us in our hurt to minister to us, but also to challenge our assumptions that have led us down a dead-end trail. He does this with His Truth. He does this with His Love. He does this with His Presence.
Please don't expect to get anything like this from your church or any institution.
God is ALIVE, God is DYNAMIC, God is SPIRIT and can meet you in your spirit.
An institution too often clings to cliches, or principles, or "answers,"
but God comes with His Love, His understanding of you, His knowledge of complete Truth.
With complete love, Jesus met the Woman at the Well with her questions. In truth, He challenged her that she had five husbands to which she agreed was true!
But He was not offensive. He spoke truth to meet her where she was but also TO LEAD HER WHERE SHE WASN'T, AND WHERE SHE COULD NOT HAVE GONE ON HER OWN WITHOUT HIM.
Sometimes our assumptive beliefs can lead us right over the cliff into disastrous territory.
May we, like Job, surrender our faulty notions, all our faulty assumptive beliefs, and trust God to be God, and trust that He is LOVE, that He will guide us into Truth, into all truth about Himself and about this fallen world in which we now live, but in which we will not live forever. For, because of His LOVE, we have been provided the way to live with Him, and with all of His other children, in Heaven forever.