The irony isn’t lost on me that I had a very similar post (found here if you’re curious) to begin 2018.
Since 2019 had a similar, although slightly more personal, ending to 2018, my recent musings have been somewhat the same as last year.
Is God still good?
These last few weeks have been indescribably difficult.
Although I have experienced some loss and hardship in my relatively short lifetime, there has been nothing that comes even somewhat close to losing my mom.
My best friend. My confident. My cheerleader. My voice of wisdom, and of reason. My parenting expert. One of the constants that has always, always been there.
Her leaving us has left a gaping hole that I know will never be filled, and I cannot begin to imagine how painful the road ahead towards “healing” will be.
Whatever “healing” means.
We went from seemingly ok to suddenly not, and although five and some odd years would seem like enough time to prepare for the inevitable
It’s just not.
And it all came and went so fast I think we are all still trying to catch our breath.
But now that things have begun to settle it leaves me wondering.
Is God still good?
Is He still good in the midst of what I would consider the most difficult and harrowing road I have yet to walk down?
Is He still good when the dark night is so dark I cannot remember what light looks like?
Is He still good.
And I confess part of my struggle with this question is the onslaught of things I see regularly on social media.
An unexpected and somewhat miraculous healing.
God is good. They have been healed.
Or unexpected home or work issues suddenly resolved with minimal damage and upset.
God is good. Look how He delivered us.
And even little things like a cancelled class when homework hasn’t been finished or a delay at work when extra sleep is desired.
Good is good. Look how He provided.
And all these things seem to point to one thing.
God is good when good things are happening.
God is good when my desires, my “needs,” are met with “yes.”
When my difficulties are resolved without a ripple affect through the rest of life.
What about me.
What about when my prayers for healing and my begging for this to not end how we all know it’s going to are met with “no.”
Is God still good.
If God is good in the good times
In the “correctly” answered prayers
Does that mean He is not still sovereign over the bad?
The obvious and immediate answer is of course He is still good.
Of course He is still Sovereign.
But spouting off acknowledgements verses truly and deeply believing I have found to be two different things.
Vastly different things.
He is in control, there is a plan.
These are things said that are meant to be helpful.
But sometimes they’re more hurtful.
If He is in control, why did He take away?
What kind of plan involves taking someone seemingly too young?
Someone so important.
Someone so loved.
Where is that good?
If I’m to be completely honest, I have asked these questions over and over these past weeks.
Why this plan? Why this path?
Why my mom.
Why my best friend.
I don’t have an answer.
I don’t know why.
I suppose I may never know why.
And while that seems to add to the sting
I simply cannot believe that even in the midst of darkness. Of trials. Of pain.
That God is not in control.
That He does not somehow still have His hand covering the pain in its entirety.
That I am still in His hand, despite the circumstances.
That He grieves with me.
That just because it is not “good,” or that my prayers have been answered “wrong,” He is not still good. And faithful. And true.
And with me.
This however absolutely does not make any of it easier.
In fact, in some moments, it can almost make things harder.
I am brought back.
I remember that this is a sin filled world.
This is a world marred by the fall of mankind so many, many years ago.
This is a world filled with pain.
And sickness and death and hardships and long roads into seemingly never ending darkness.
This is not meant to be our home.
This is not promised to be easy.
This is not our grand finale.
We have a greater home.
A home NOT marked with sin. Or sickness. Or pain. Or death.
A home that IS perfect. Free of any hurt. Of all suffering.
A home where my dear mother now resides.
A home where we will forever be with one another, never again to be separated by death.
We must make it through this world. First we must endure this pain.
Whatever our pain looks like. Whatever hurts and suffering we must shoulder.
Because as the Paul David Tripp book I have been reading so eloquently states, “and if you are not suffering now, you will someday. Somehow, someway, suffering enters everyone’s door.”
But as the weight of suffering and hurt and pain and grief bears down it is not without hope.
And while this hope does not fully take the pain of loss away
It is the pinprick of light amidst the dark road.
It is the life preserver thrown to the drowning man.
It is the calm in the midst of horrible chaos.
It is the only thing to hold on to. To cling to. To keep me moving forward
Through many dangers, toils, and snares,
I have already come;
’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.