Our church family has encountered some true tragedy recently. The death of a newborn has brought us into deep grieving for a precious family in our church, and brings us to our knees as we seek to understand the ways the Lord works. That question of “why” is such a quick place for us to turn, and it is the believer’s struggle to, in the midst of difficult questioning, return to Truth. “”As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Is 55); “For I know the plans I have for you–plans to give you a hope and a future” (Jer 29–following 70 years of waiting, by the way) ; “the Lord is close to the brokenhearted” (Ps 34). These Truths, these promises, are not bandaids to wounds too deep for comfort. As deep as our grieving is at times, so deep does the love and promises and grace of the Lord extend, for so deep did our Christ Jesus suffer so that the pain of this world would be only temporary. Awaits us is our true home, where we will bask in the glory of the Lord.
Difficult times and times of tears, even when I am on the sidelines of friends’ lives grieving for them, brings my mind to my children who will join our family through adoption. I suppose it’s the unknown that so characterizes our place in our adoption journey–wondering the ways the Lord works, eager to see his Hand, walking by faith–that seems to parallel in some ways that faith journey so many friends experience in times of deep sadness. We don’t know our future children’s faces yet; we don’t know each life story; we don’t know the pains they endure and the sorrow and trauma their birth families experience. I read daily of the challenges (understatement of the year) Congo faces and wonder what the path ahead looks like for these women who have experienced untold horrors, for the orphans who will not come home to forever (earthly) families, and for those experiencing the crippling effects of poverty. And yet I know that I am called to certain things–and certain universal things for believers– to go back to Truth. “For the eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good.” (Prov 15). What Truths is the Lord telling you amidst life’s difficulty?