Saturday, July 25, 2009

Repost: God is Good

I originally posted the following on February 3, 2009 but I believe it to be a true depiction of my thoughts these days. Someone who will always remain close to my heart was diagnosed with Stage 4 Bone Cancer. She has weeks to live.

She is nearing the time of her departure, unless God works a miracle to keep her on this earth a little longer. But her reward in heaven is great. If it hadn't been for this dear soul, I would not be a believer in Christ. I feel I owe a level of gratitude nothing on earth can compare to. And that's one more reason I look forward to seeing her in heaven one day.

I grieve but not as one who has no hope. I grieve for her children, her husband, her young grand child, her pain. But I hope in the promise of eternal life. May God comfort their hearts and restore their pain with peace...

Death.

It's one of those subjects most of us avoid talking about. It makes us uncomfortable. Uneasy. Sometimes fearful. The unknown of what our future holds is too heavy to think about.

But death is just part of life, really.

It's ironic how death can effect you even if you or none of your loved ones die. It can be a story told to you by a friend. An article in the newspaper. A glance at the obituaries.

What always gets me are the "untimely" deaths as we seem to classify any death that happens before age 75. And we stumble around, grappling in the reality of the cruelty of death and ask, "Why God?"

While observing the most tragic story I have ever heard, I kept stuttering those 2 little words... "Why God?" And then it dawned on me as I reflected on the brevity of life, the cruelty of death and the utter desire for destruction that the Evil One has for each one of us, God is not the author of confusion. He does not find joy in tormenting our lives with sorrow. He is not even capable of filling our lives with sorrow. He is a God of good.

In the beginning of time, God gave man free choice. We have the right to choose what we like. What we don't like. What we want. What we don't want. He made a point of proving that we have such a free choice in life when He sent His Son to earth and let us decide what we wanted to do with the Jesus of Nazareth.

And in the process of time, we took the very life of Jesus and wrenched every drop of blood from His body to prove that we were in control. That even God's own Son could not reconcile our vile hearts to the God of Love. And God let us.

What we didn't realize was that every drop of blood that was spent, did not drop into a forgotten vortex of time and eternity. It was collected and saved for the remission of our sins so that even while we were dead in our hearts towards the love of God, that love was still attainable through the very Son we destroyed. That blood was collected for me. For you.

All we had to do was take it in repentance and forgiveness of sin.

But yet we live in a fallen world. We have free choices. We decide our eternal fate. We decide what we will do with that Jesus of Nazareth. And God wills it that way because He gave us that choice.

That choice came when sin entered the world. When the Evil One told the first woman in history that she could be like God if she just disobeyed His one simple command, man then became like God. Since that day, we see the destruction of evil and we see the glory of good. Not to the extent that God does but close enough to understand that God obviously had the greater knowledge of such matters to begin with. We have regretted everyday since that desire to be like God. To know like God. To see like God. We can't handle the reality of cruelty. Of death. Of pain. Of loss.

We are human. We lack the infinite ability of thinking powers that move us on from today. That give us a glimpse into the future. We work to put food on our tables just for today. We work to bring up the stock market. We work to avoid the probability of death. Of grief. Of pain. But, God's work involves an eternal life that far expands a drop of the drop of the tiniest droplet in the expansive bucket of time.

In God's world, time has no end. In our world, time is everything. And when time ends for a living soul on earth, death has won. We can't contemplate the cruelty of separation. Of loss. Of grief so sharp that even taking a breath of air is an effort beyond a natural ability to just breathe.
Then we ask, "Why God?"

And God sits on His throne comforting broken hearts and grieving for the loss of our joy and wishing we could understand as He does. To understand that when sin came into the world, our free will forced the process of life and death. That pain and suffering was not His plan. That God did not make man to be alone.

Satan is the prince and the power of the air. Yet God is the life that lives within us.... "... And God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." Just like we forced the very life out of God's Son and assumed we had finally conquered a power greater than us, so Satan moves to destroy our physical lives in hopes of conquering a power greater than himself. He is the accuser of the brethren. The crux of all evil. The end of all good. His motive is to condemn, break down and destroy.

The capability of God to protect and defend us is often confined to the eternal soul. God promised us everlasting life and that life is beyond the kingdom of this world. And He protects and keeps our hearts for His kingdom. His power. His glory. Life on earth is a passage to Heaven and God's will is that none would perish but that all would have eternal life. We don't live in eternal life until we soar beyond the confines of human flesh and blood.

The blessing of love. The companionship of marriage. The beauty of life manifested in the birth of a child are all the goodness of God that can still be enjoyed in a sin-fallen world. They give us a taste of perfection and what our bodies were created for: eternal life.

But, we will never understand death while we still live. Death is a comprehension of knowledge beyond the human brain of our understanding. We were not designed to know death. To experience death. To see death. To cause death. Man is a "living soul" and God's design made it that way. We can not embrace death because nothing within us can welcome the shards of pain that death is.

The fact that death hurts is because we are not inoculated to it's powers. It was never intended to be understood but because of our free choice over the process of time, we have all experienced death in some way. Whether through a family member or a close friend or a spouse, death has visited each one of us.

When the "Why God" questions crowd our minds, the reality that God does not design sorrow and does not thrive in our grief should be ever present on our mind. Considering we live in such a sin-sick and fallen world, we should ask "Why God?" when we close our eyes at night in the arms of our lover. When we go to sleep knowing that all is well in the world we live in and the circle of people we inhabit.

But, since we think it's normal to experience complete goodness, we don't notice the luxuries of life like health and safety and the love of a life-long spouse. Why? Because God created us to live, to be, to desire, to have everything good.

And death is not a part He originally created us to have in His perfect blue-print of creation. Because death is cruel. Death hurts. Death separates. Death destroys. Death is the epitome of evil. It is the opposite of good.

We will never understand the purpose and planning of death. Why? Because only God has conquered death. Because God is only good.

4 comments:

Ruth Ann said...

aww Courtney...I read about this on the Wissmann's blog. I so appreciate your thoughts, and know this is such a heartbreak and will be a heartache. Praise the Lord for the ability to heal the pain and comfort hearts. My heart has been breaking for this family and of course for all close to them. Bless you for loving them and ministering to them.

Jayne Otterson said...

Death is our greatest enemy and you describe it well here. I am so thankful that He has conquered this great foe; that even though we see through a glass darkly, he has brought the victory. What a day that will be when step into the City whose builder and maker is God...

pat ve said...

I read your post when you first put it on. I am glad you haven't changed it because tonight I decided to read it again. It is profound. Your thoughts are very clear and I appreciate them.

Brittney said...

I've been thinking of that dear lady so much lately. My heart aches for that family.