Yeah...there's always a BUT after that statement (and there's usually a BUTT saying it...but that's another post.)
I've been reading some blogs today. In one, a fabulous question was posed to a group of people from which I am grateful to be excluded. However, the question is right on track with what I have been trying to grasp hold of over the past few years.
Not that it is a revolutionary concept. I'm sure I heard it many, many times while growing up. It's just that the war waged by the enemy involves a lot of disinformation...taking a little truth and mixing it with a lot of lie.
By the way, the question posed to this select group of front line warriors was this (paraphrased): If you could ask any one question about the circumstances of your child's life, what would it be. The guarantee of a 100% accurate and honest answer was included.
My question would have to be, "Why am I so fabulously blessed with this child with this particular soul?" Obviously, that disqualifies me from the exercise.
I do have a question about an event in my life.
Without some quick backdrop though, my question would sound ludicrous and woefully ignorant of the battle.
I had a great mom. She died when I was 30. Before I became a teacher (she would have loved that), before her own mother died, before we had made the full peace that adult children and their parents must make, before my career really blossomed, before I had a child. Of course that last one sucks the most. Not only did my mother never get the joy of seeing her grand-daughter, but my child has never, and will never get the joy of being that special to someone. To date, she would be the only grandchild my mother has. If my mother was going to be ANYTHING like her own (my grandma)...well, the main reason I am who I am is because of my Grandma.
What would I ask?
It would not be "Why did God kill my mother."
God didn't kill my mother. A very aggressive brain tumor killed my mother. Over the course of my life I, and many others have been the victim of bad teaching on a verse which I believe has been unfortunately mangled in it's meaning.
1 Corinthians 10:13 says: No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.
Where does the temptation come from? God? No. Temptation is from the enemy. He is both tempting and testing use, but more, is seeking to destroy us. So, 1) temptations are common to all men. Some are tempted by lust, some by drugs, some by workaholism, some by ... you get the picture.
2) God is faithful and will not allow us to be tempted/tested beyond what we can handle. Not that we can handle the crush of the temptation...but that he will "provide a way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it."
To believe that God is the one tempting me...giving me trials so that I will get tougher is like me telling my 9 year old to go get in the car and drive herself to school, after loosening the bolts on the tires so that she will learn not to try to drive the car until she is 16 years old.
"I'm going to give Richard's mom a brain tumor so that he can be a better Christian."
"I'm going to take the life of this small child so the parents will appreciate what they have."
If that is God...then I would reject him. (Which makes the adulteration of that verse so clever. Misunderstanding it says that GOD wants, even needs bad things to happen to us so that His will is accomplished.)
"Where did the brain tumor come from?"
I believe I know that answer...it came from an infested, dangerous, toxic, disease ridden, scary, deadly, invaded world.
"Why didn't God intervene?"
I have an answer to that as well. I think, that in the very, very grand scheme of things...He didn't need to. For His will to be accomplished on this earth, and in His heaven, my mother did not need to be here anymore.
Her death was "allowed" because she had served her purpose all ready. He didn't want her to die (or need her to die)...
Now, I am not saying that she was never going to do anything else towards God's will. If she had not gotten the brain tumor and died, she would have done many wonderful things, and had a wonderful impact on my daughters, as well as many other lives.
God's will though is not thwarted by her death. That is what is encouraging. Despite all the evil perpetuated in the world, all the disease, the death, the abuse, the loss, the fear, the crap in this world brought about ultimately by the enemy's lies...God WILL still accomplish His perfect will for His creation.
That means, to me, that I need not worry that Dora doesn't have a grandma Darla.
"And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28
Not only will His will be accomplished despite her death...Her death will be used for GOOD in Dora's life! I don't know how. It is a bad event. I frequently miss her and am angered that Dora doesn't have the benefit of her love. I'm sure this summer Dora would have spent some time with her. Some of my favorite memories are spending weeks every summer with my Grandma. (Not to mention the fact that this would have been a great time for my wife and I to reconnect as a couple). See...I still see it as a bad event.
But God assures His will will not be thwarted by bad events.
So finally, my question:
How is God using my mother's untimely death for good in my daughter's life?