It has been almost 2 months since tragedy turned my world, and the worlds of many close to me upside down. Many of us have been going through the grief process in different ways, and for different reasons….the two things we all have in common are that we all want David back….and that we all know and love the Lord.
As I struggle through trying to understand this heartache, a few things have been coming more and more clear to me, and many questions have come up as well. How could God take him from us? I have days when I am angry….I just don’t understand. David had a wonderful girlfriend…one of those “once in a lifetime” “This is forever” kind of loves. His Family is one of the strongest I know…Their faith through all this has been awe inspiring. so that brings me back to being angry….is it ok to be angry?
As I struggle with this, a few sections of scripture come to mind. …
Luke 22:31-34 (New International Version)
31“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. 32But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”
33But he replied, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.”
34Jesus answered, “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.”
Peter Denies Jesus three times, and then returns to the feet of Jesus….and Jesus welcomes Him back into the fold with open arms…..
John 21:15-17 (New International Version)
Jesus Reinstates Peter
15When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
16Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me?”
He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.
Jesus, on the Cross, Cries out asking why God had Forsaken Him….God’s Own son bore our rejection and pain. This is important to remember because not only did Jesus bear all of our sins on the cross…He also took upon him all our sickness, or heartache, or fears, or pain, our rejection…the night before His betrayal and death, he spent all night crying out for God to take this cup from him, pleading with God to not make him do what he knew was ahead of him.
Mark 14:32-38 (New International Version)
32They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” 33He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. 34“My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” he said to them. “Stay here and keep watch.”
35Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. 36“Abba,Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”
37Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Simon,” he said to Peter, “are you asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour? 38Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”
Matthew 27:45-46 (New International Version)
The Death of Jesus
45From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land. 46About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi,lama sabachthani?”—which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
Thomas Doubted that Jesus had really risen, and yet He was not pushed away either, but welcomed back into the fold with loving arms.
John 20:24-29 (New International Version)
Jesus Appears to Thomas
24Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”
But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.”
26A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
28Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
29Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
looking at the verses listed above, I draw the conclusion that doubt, angry, rejection, and even denial are all part of human nature, and that as part of a process as long as we return to the place where we fall at the feet of Jesus and repent, and go deeper, He will not push us away, but welcome us back with open arms. Even in our darkest hours He does not leave us. He hears our cries, feels our pain, sees our tears. All this He already defeated on the cross, and yet sometimes it is part of what we have to face to get to a place where we are ready to follow Him . We may not always understand why things happen that cause us to suffer, but I know this much, even in my pain, that God will never give us more to bear than we can handle, and He will be with us every step of the way….we just have to come to a place where we are willing to “let go and let God” . As long as we are trying to do things ourselves, we will never fully understand the fullness of His love. I have seen this as I struggle with the daily battles I face with raising a child with special needs. I have had to face this in dealing with losing people I love….whether it was in High school when my God-father died suddenly, and I puled away from God and from everyone close to me……and entered some of the darkest years of my life…..or when my Aunt was killed by a drunk driver and I got Angry, VERY Angry, or now as I try to understand why we have lost such a wonderful young man who had his whole life ahead of him. I grieve not because He is in heaven, no I rejoice with him for that…but I grieve for Our loss here on earth, but I also find comfort, and rest in the verses below…..and I will leave you with that as a Final thought for today….
Romans 8:28-39 (New International Version)
More Than Conquerors
28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
31What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.