"You never fully get over the loss of a child." Spoken by one who has lost a child, I felt this pain in a starkly personal way today. I stood today with a family stricken with the loss of their son.
I stood with a family who has lost a brother, a cousin, an uncle - a beloved member of their family who will not be with them at family gatherings, homecomings, weddings. I stood there, grieiving with them. There are no words to soothe a hurt that deep. There are no words to assuage a grief such as this. So I stood with them as the rain fell down and the cold wind blew, grieving at the loss of one so young. As I did so, I asked the Lord over and over, "why in Heaven's name did this have to happen?" (I don't think it's sin to ask God the hard questions - if God's afraid of our honesty, then is he really God?) When I got back to my office, there was an email waiting for me with a reminder of the passionate character of God. In Isaiah 55:8-9, the prophet asked the same question of why. The Lord responded with this:
“‘My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.’”
While that doesn't stop the pain and doesn't eliminate the heart-wrenching grief, it' s a reminder that the same God who proclaims himself the "resurrection and the Life" is also the same God who has ways and plans higher than myself. He's also the same God who asssured me of his continued presence in my life and his passionate love to guide me through the darkest of days - like this one. Pray for our friends the Smiths. They'll need us more in the days to come than perhaps ever before.