The last couple of weeks have been tough. For those of you who haven't heard, two weeks ago our teammates' three-year-old son was life-flighted to South Africa after an accident that resulted in a serious head injury. After a week in ICU, he passed away last Wednesday morning. Today was the memorial service in South Africa. In many ways, it’s still hard to believe sweet little Reiner is gone. And sometimes it’s hard to understand why God didn't save him.
It’s reminded me of a time in my own life when I asked so many of the same questions. Many years ago, after struggling with infertility, I got pregnant, but had a miscarriage and lost our baby. While I can't even begin to compare that loss with Reiner's death, I remember clearly the depression and panic attacks that followed. God seemed so far away. I remember crying out to Him. I remember being angry and frustrated, wondering why He’d allowed this to happen. Doesn’t the Bible say "ask and it will be given to you?" (Matthew 7:6)
I knew of God’s promise of rest to the weary and peace for the soul in need, but God instead became a distant figure who had left me to deal with my own humanity and confusion.
A friend came to me one day and challenged me to dig deeply into the word of God to discover for myself who God is and to develop an intimate relationship with Him. I was forced to answer one challenging question: Did I believe God was in control of everything, including my own life? If He wasn’t, there would be no reason for me to continue to follow Him. If He was in control, then I needed to let go and trust Him completely with my life.
Healing takes time, and the road wasn’t easy, but I learned that with His power we can overcome our grief and doubts and begin to live a life filled with His spirit. He has promised to be our strength when we are weak, to give us hope when we are hopeless, and to love us when we feel unlovable. It’s never relying on our own strength to get us through difficult times, but leaning on the mighty arm of God and being continuously filled with His Spirit. Isaiah 41:10 tells us not to fear, because “I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
I Peter 4:12 tells us not to be surprised at the painful trials we are suffering. But through Christ and the workings of His Spirit, the void can be filled. James tells us that we are blessed when we persevere under trial, because if we love him, we will receive a crown of life. (James 1:12) With God as our strength and heaven as our goal, the journey is worth it.
Be blessed today,