It somehow seems unfair that pain, grief and suffering are already present just days into the new year. These unwelcome guests have showed up in the lives of those dear to me and plan to stick around for a while.
Thursday night, I received a call that a precious friend whom I love deeply has an aggressive form of cancer that has spread. The man who taught me how to fight now has quite the fight ahead of him in the days to come.
Also Thursday, another friend and former co-worker was taken off life support and all medications and we now wait. Wait to see if she makes a miraculous recovery even with no brain activity. Or wait to hear the unthinkable. How a stomach bug became a heart attack makes absolutely no sense to me.
I don't get it. It's in times like this that I wonder: is God still good? Is he still kind? Can he still be trusted?
Some hard truths I've discovered over 30-some years of living:
We live in a broken world.
Bad things happen to good people for no reason.
Good things happen to bad people for no reason.
We pray for people and they live.
We pray for people and they die.
Life is a beautiful mess of pain and suffering and joy.
We are all going to die -- a realization that should prompt us to live in a way that matters.
Life sometimes doesn't make a lick of sense.
Losing people sucks.
Life is hard.
Life is good.
Life is still worth living and fighting for.
God doesn't promise us a pain-free life.
|Photo by Suzanne Stelling|
I don't know many things right now. But here's what I do know and have experienced from 20 years of being a Jesus follower:
God cares and weeps with us.
He is near.
He *loves* us extravagantly.
He uses family and friends as tangible expressions of that love.
He holds us when we can't hold on.
It's OK to be angry and confused.
God is with us in the midst of the mess.
He carries us.
He is kind.
He is faithful in the hard places.
He meets us exactly where we are.
He can still be trusted.
Weeping and sorrow may endure for some time. But joy WILL come.
God is still good even if the worst happens. Even if.