I see the pain, the suffering in the world and am overwhelmed.
I see, I taste the fruits of death. The old, the young, the guilty, the innocent. So many robbed of life before their time.
The child just waking up to life.
The young woman, murdered by someone she thought she loved.
I’ve seen man rob man of life. I’ve seen sickness sap the young and old alike.
Why? My heart cries. My heart grieves over the pain. Why must it be so?
And I turn to God and ask, “Why?”
But He didn’t make this pain. He didn’t bring it to this place. I can’t place blame at His feet.
Yet, I still find my heart asking why.
I’ve seen death more than you would think for my age. I had an enlightening conversation with my Mom awhile ago about the time we heard of her favorite uncles death, at that point she had had little experience with grief and death. I was a young teen at the time, and she’d had children late in life.
I’m not yet Thirty, but I can think of so many people I have truly loved that I have lost. I’m not trying to build my losses up in any way, but my heart does start to ask, “Why?”
I’ve seen sickness, I’m more familiar with hospitals than I’d really ever have liked to be. I know how to help navigate the storms of a crisis to keep my loved ones going and find out necessary information from a medical professional.
And then I see others, so many others, suffering.
Sometimes it seems they hold life by the throat.
You can give platitudes about death being a part of life. You can share happiness about the hope of a better place. But when a life that should have had so much longer is snuffed out so easily, the platitudes give the heart only passing comfort, if any at all.
And we ask why.
From my eyes it is all unfair. From my eyes it is all useless and meaningless and hopeless. From my eyes I see only despair.
Thank God there is more than just my eyes.
We can talk about how God never intended pain and suffering. We can speak about how He wants to bring us hope and life. We can day by day choose to trust His plan and forge ahead blindly, every step a leap of faith that He has us in His hands.
But still our hearts ask why.
But there is a moment, a moment of stillness and understanding, where my heart will stop asking.
It’s the moment where He proves Himself worthy of my trust in this issue of death.
Generally speaking I feel like we shouldn’t need God to prove Himself worthy of trust, because He’s God and that should be enough proof. His very being, His very nature, should be enough of a statement of His worthiness of all our faith, our love, our trust, our worship.
But did you know, even though He is too worthy for it to be necessary that He ever have to prove Himself, He does it anyway?
Even though coming to Him and asking “Why?” in so many ways is like going up to the Queen of England and demanding to her face why she has any right to the crown, He still takes the time and actually proves Himself to us anyway.
Death is a frightening thought. It’s unknown. Is He worthy of my trust? Will I really fall asleep to wake up with Him? Has He really proven Himself so much that I need not fear this horror?
How could He have possibly proven Himself this much? What could He have ever done that could calm my fears when faced with this all pervasive thing called death.
He didn’t have to. He’s life itself, and that everlasting. He has nothing to do with death. And yet, He, the most Worthy of All, He chose death.
He embraced death.
He walked with eyes wide open straight into its jaws.
He suffered pain, agonizing pain.
He wept in grief deeper than any we have ever known.
And He willingly laid Himself down on a torture device called a cross.
“It is finished.” He said, then He died.
I’ve realized that the reason I can trust Him with death is not because death isn’t what He intended for His creation. That may be true but it doesn’t calm my fears. It’s not because death is a part of life and some grand circle. It’s not because of some greater plan.
I can trust Him because this, my great fear, is one He faced. He faced it for me. He walked this path for me. He chose to embrace this thing that was everything He was not, for me.
And then, He conquered it for me too.
I have no idea how long I have to walk this earth. I probably contemplate the question more than many my age both because of my contemplative nature and because of my health issues. I could be here till I’m old and grey, or I could be gone in a moment. But whenever the time may come that I must face this road, I can know He walked this road ahead of me, by His choice, and I can trust Him.
I can trust Him.
I can let go of the whys and trust Him.
It’s freeing, and soothes my soul.
And so, I can walk out today and not only trust Him with death, but trust Him with life. Trust Him with my every moment, my every breath, and all that I hold dear.
I can trust Him because He walked through death and hell to bring me life.
I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And hold the keys of death and Hades. Revelation 1:18
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. Psalms 23:4 NKJV
~Joy Aletheia Stevens