There is no circumstance, no trouble, no testing, that can ever touch me until, first of all, it has gone past God and past Christ, right through to me. If it has come that far, it has come with a great purpose, which I may not understand at the moment. But I refuse to become panicky, as I lift up my eyes to Him and accept it as coming from the throne of God for some great purpose of blessing to my own heart. ~Alan Redpath
I am not even sure if last Sunday was actually on God's providence. I think so. So much has happened this week that Armchair QB was irrelevant. We had to let my sweet Chelsea go. Sunday was a bad day for her so Monday we went to the vet and she feel asleep resting in my arms. I have missed her. But, truth be told, I have been missing her for weeks, months, as she lapsed into a shadow of the loving strong girl she was. She is now at peace, but her momma is left with a heartbreaking stillness in her spirit.
I know, she is just a dog, right? Lean in, just a little closer...so I can punch you in the nose. My husband and I made a decision years ago not to have any more children, and though I struggled with that decision initially, my dogs and birds became like our children. In fact, I blame maternal hormones that our zoo grew as it did. But the point is, I surrendered a piece, and a peace, of my heart when I surrendered my girl.
I would love to be able to say, "It's ok: God has a plan; God has really blessings waiting," as some have in an empty attempt to comfort me. I can't. I can't even choke down their words. They sit as a knot in my throat until I gag them up.
Yet, I am not really mad at God. I think this whole existence of brokenness SUCKS! I am not the only one feeling the pain of loss, the sharp pains of this broken world. In fact, I am lucky. My girl is not suffering any more. How many are still suffering? Or, harder still, watching ones they love suffer?
Is it supposed to be comforting that God has a plan? The quote (heard it on the radio and have been gnawing on it a few days) says all hard things only reach me after God's approval. Is that supposed to be comforting-that God thinks we can handle such suffering? Or should we be angry that God allows it?
I know when I look back on my own path, it is easy to see how God worked on my winding journey, how things built upon the last. Are we able to even see that in the present? Did Moses' mother think, "God is on our side (the side of the slaves that were victims of genocide). Things are gonna work out. I will just place my dear son in this basket and hope it is God's will that the crocs don't eat him before some Egyptian kills him?" Did Jonah think, "Awesome, God is giving me a unique submarine to transport me to the people I hate?" Or, is it only many, many years later that the story was told with an "OMG, God is amazing!"
I think Moses' mother might have hoped for rescue, but she would rather surrender her baby, grieving as she must have been, rather than have some cruel army rip him from her breast. Jonah probably begged for God to hear him, remembering all he could have done or been as he assumed he would die in the stinking gullet of a fish.
While I do know God has a plan, while I trust Him with my heart, it can be difficult to live joyfully in this place of dying and suffering. He knows the suffering better than any of us and suffers with us. Gratefully, He is still there, slipping His hand wordlessly into mine, and we walk together. As we walk, I slip my hand into another's, who intimately knows the pain as well, and we walk. It can be the loneliest walk without the hand of another. Fortunately, we don't have to be alone as we wait for God to work out His goodness.