That question was running through my mind last night, keeping me awake...
Will I still love Him?
Will I still love Him if she dies? Can my faith survive this road of suffering, this private viewing of something so terrible?
I really, really want the answer to be YES.
But I am feeling so fragile, so vulnerable, so unrestrainedly human right now. I feel like I can´t guarantee anything, knowing how inconstant a heart can be.
It´s not that I am a stranger to pain and loss. I have already grieved, to varying degrees and in different seasons of life, the loss of 2 brothers, my Mom and both of my in-laws. But this does not make me an expert or a ¨grief success story¨. God forbid! My heart still aches and each process was - and still is - heart-wrenchingly sorrowful.
But my daughter! The one He formed in my womb! My firstborn! The one who looks so much like me and who captured me completely from the first second I met her! Can I love Him if she is taken?
Last night the silence was deafening - second only to the pounding of my heart.
So much of the time I am consumed in praying for my children - that they can love Him in spite of this painful journey, that they can believe in goodness still. I long for their faith to survive and I dread watching their suffering if she is taken - more than walking through my own.
But last night the questions came to me, haunting me, piercing my heart. I could only pray for tenderness toward Him, for resolve, for steadfastness, for an unbelievable experience of His mercy in all of this so that I will still believe in a God of love.
I also prayed for God´s reputation. For what will happen in the hearts of the ones watching all of this? Will they want to love you if You take her? Will they be able to believe in You if You can heal her but for some reason, don´t? Would I want to follow a God who allows children to die? Will I be able to respond with love & faith to them in my own grief?
I whisper to Him, ¨I so want the answer to be YES.¨
Theologians have been unable to resolve the tension between God´s love & goodness and His sovereignty. Some think it comes down to a choice between the two. To me, it really comes down to a choice of the heart: Will I trust the sovereign God to act lovingly on my behalf even if it doesn´t look like it at the time?
I have a number of dear friends who live in incredibly difficult situations. They have seen war, unbelievable pain, have seen ugliness up close and personal, have seen human devastation and injustice - all the while crying out to God for mercy, for intervention, for some sign of goodness in all of it. Sometimes life is very, very hard. What will we believe about God when all around us are ashes?
I´ve come to believe that if I don´t believe in a God who can bring beauty from ashes, life from death, mercy from cruelty, redemption through terror - He is not worth believing in. The point of a God of Life is that He can deliver it in the worst of circumstances!
I love the poignant words of Peter on behalf of the 12 disciples after many other disciples left Jesus because of some of his hard-to-swallow words and teachings. Jesus asks them, ¨You do not want to leave too, do you?¨ Peter answers, ¨Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.¨ (John 6:67-69)
Jesus captured my heart at 16. He has loved me through thick and thin. He has proved Himself to me many times over. I sincerely & utterly don´t know how to live without Him. Wouldn´t want to live without Him.
Will I still love Him?
Trembling, I breathe out my response: ¨YES, forever and ever.¨
Photo by: Michael Korchia