A gal wrote on my blog today:
“I always just want to ask, why? Why does He need more glory? Why do some people seem to be His target for suffering more than others? Is it because He knows we are willing to bear up under the weight of it and bring Him more glory than others would? Because, if so, I would like to take my bulls-eye patch off now. Or would I? Would I really take it off if I could see what He is truly doing with my suffering? I lost my 21 year old son 8 weeks ago today and found myself offended when I overheard my sister remark to someone that if anybody’s faith could withstand this, it was mine! So because I already had faith, makes me a good candidate for more suffering?!? So many questions, so much to be worked on …. and I just wish God could have been happy with who I was already and for the others affected by my son’s loss that He is working on, I wish He could have found a different way to achieve those things in their lives.”
I answered her. Then I thought more about it.
Here is my longer answer:
I am sorry. I’m sorry for your pain! I am sorry your son died.
No! God does not take our kids because we are strong enough to handle it! No, it’s not because of your faith that your son died. Nor because of your lack of faith. God didn’t take our kids just so He could get glory or so that He could do a work in us or those around us. No, you don’t have a supernatural bullseye on your back at which God is shooting suffering and torment for His own pleasure.
When sin came into the world, according to Genesis, the Tree of Life in the garden was no longer available for us to eat from. God saw that man had eaten from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and made man leave the garden. Man had been told to not eat of that tree; he disobeyed. He sinned.
Because of man.s disobedience (sin) the Tree of Life was no longer available to man. Death entered the world. We die. People die. Sin results in death. The worldwide condition of sin results in death. That’s why our kids – and our parents, siblings, friends, and others – all die. Some sooner than others.
So, no, I don’t believe that our sons are dead because we are strong or because God wants to kill people so He will get more glory or teach us a lesson.
I do believe that He will use ugly things in my life – things like a violent sexual assault at age 18, my parents’ divorce, addiction in those I love, mental illness in ones I care about, job losses, financial difficulties, and even the deaths of my parents, friends, and my son – He will use ugly things to conform me to the image of Christ. He can and does work in all things for my good because I love Him and am called according to His purpose.
I don’t believe He caused all those things. I do believe He knew about each of them beforehand. I do believe He never left me or forsook me. I do believe that His promises are true.
And because of His great love for us, He sent Jesus to become sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God and may eat from the Tree of Life in the New Heavens and New Earth someday. Jesus came, lived as man, died, was buried, and rose again that we might have eternal life beginning today.
I do believe that because of who He is, I will praise Him. I want to live a life that gives Him glory. Not because my son is dead, but because God alone is worthy of glory and honor and majesty. He alone is faithful, true, and just. He alone is good. He is love.
And because of who God is, I will praise Him in the storm. I will live a life that glorifies Him as best as I am able. I will trust Him and love Him. Even in the midst of my pain.