I don’t check stats on my blog very often, because I don’t want to get too caught up in numbers, but I checked and Monday’s post generated over 7000 hits. That is amazing, and I am so grateful to you guys for reading and sharing the link with others. Thank you especially for being willing to engage in commenting on what I know can be a very difficult subject.
One of the comments about the Gosnell post that has stayed with me addressed the idea of good versus bad outcomes. In this case, she was referring to the question of is abortion a good solution when a woman isn’t going to be a good mother? This struck me because I’ve actually been thinking about this a lot recently. I read a status on Facebook about a situation where someone had gotten a surprisingly positive report from their doctor, and someone commented – “this is such a God thing!”
Now, I think I know what they meant- that this person was being blessed with good health and they wanted to thank God for it. There’s nothing wrong with that. But I immediately wondered- if this person had posted that they had gotten bad news, would we say it was a God thing? Or do we believe He’s only involved in what we think is good?
I think we can all agree that this week has been more than difficult. I flip channels between details on the Gosnell case to images of a young boy, dead from a bomb at the Boston Marathon. And it weighs me down- I just told my accountability partners today that I was struggling with feeling this sadness, this heaviness in trying to make sense of things that just don’t. Sometimes I struggle with shutting down emotionally when things are really difficult, and so I sat down and wrote out some questions to pray through-
Do I believe that God will allow difficult and tragic things to happen in order for a greater good to happen?
Do I believe that He has an ultimate plan that may feel unreasonably painful to me?
Do I believe that even if I don’t get to see the good that comes out of evil, that He is still in control of it?
Do I believe that I am who I am because of the hardships I’ve faced or in spite of them?
Do I trust Him?
No really. Do I trust Him?
Doesn’t it all come down to that? I’m going to be honest, I’ve had prayers that sound like little more than me screaming why. I’ve beat my fists and been angry. I’ve told Him that I didn’t think He was paying attention, or that this might have been the one time He made a mistake. I’ve told Him that He has misplaced faith in me to handle certain things. I’ve told Him that if it were up to me, the bad guys would get what they deserve.
And then He gently reminds me that while I might cast myself in the role of victim, I actually play the part of the bad guy. And then He reminds me of what He has done to rescue me from what I deserve.
In the debate on Monday and Tuesday, I can’t tell you that I understand why God would allow a drug addict to get pregnant and hurt a child. I can’t explain why He doesn’t supernaturally rescue a little boy, a boy whose face reminds me of Josiah, from being taken out by the hate from another person. I can’t explain why couples who love each other and love God have to struggle to become parents.
It doesn’t feel like a God thing. It just feels like a pain thing. It’s so much easier to describe hope and relief and happiness and clean reports and healthy newborns and weddings and adoptions as God things. But do we believe that depression and mental illness and addiction and cancer and unplanned pregnancy and failed adoptions and and and…do we believe that He’s in those too? That He’s not just interested in meeting us once we are on the other side of those things, but He’s interested in walking with us through them?
I want to forget about Gosnell. I want to forget about bombs. I want to forget about depression and hurt feelings, conflict with friends and marriage struggles. I want to get past it. But I don’t want to miss the growth, I don’t want to miss the intimacy with my Father that comes when I am hurt and need comfort.
“We can rejoice too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.”-Romans 5:3-4
Father, when bad things happen, I don’t want my first thought to be about just how You will rescue me or others. I want my first thought to be “thank You for what you are going to teach me in each step of this”. Help me trust you more!
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