Tragedy and loss have a way of reordering life.
Some days we feel as though we’re starting over … like we’re learning God’s ways again. It’s silly to think we ever had them figured out. Like that’s gonna’ happen, right?
I think we get comfortable doing this faith thing and stupidity along with a little spiritual arrogance sneaks in.
My husband and I have been walking with the Lord a long time. We’ve faced countless hard trials … but none like the one our family is enduring in this season of life.
What our sovereign God allows sometimes is gut wrenching, especially for those we love the most. We’re seeking Him hard these days.
I find I’m desperate to see something tangible come from all this hurt. God’s word reminds me that we’ll be tested. He puts us in the direct path of the storm to see what we’re made of.
This testing thing is a hard pill to swallow when three precious kids are involved.
And then there are new hurts and realities that just seem to pile up daily. You’ve heard the old saying that you find out who your real friends are in tough times? We are finding this a harsh reality as well.
The Devil has compounded our grief with deception, manipulations, and sin messes. The ripple effect of others sin has multiplied our hurts. What’s in the bucket is gonna’ come out … especially when it’s turned upside down.
I keep asking God, what is your purpose Lord? Why all the hurts? Why all the losses?
I’ve been doing a bible study by Dr. Tony Evans called “Detours” … it’s no accident God led me to this book. Dr. Evans explains the why’s of God’s purpose like this:
“We would never plan chaos and detours into our lives on purpose. And yet that seems to be God’s go-to mode for testing, training, and preparing us. The perspective we take toward personal detours will influence the impact they have on our lives.”
In other words, if we bare down in anger, bitterness, or abandon God, the impact on our lives will be even more tragic.
Detours are critical crossroads in our stories. We either choose to submit like an old hound dog that turns belly up or we bite back.
How we react will show the world if we are walking in God’s will … or not. And sadly, God gets no glory if we waste our hurts on sin.
Just days ago I stood in church singing one of my favorite worship songs … “He’s a Good, Good Father” by Chris Tomlin.
As the chorus led us to the bridge … simple words wedged in my throat … “You’re perfect in all of your ways … You’re perfect in all of your ways, You’re perfect in all of your ways to us.”
In that moment, it hit me … I’m singing to my good, good Father who has allowed unimaginable pain and loss to turn my family’s world upside down.
I’m not gonna’ lie – for a split second, it was hard to form those words in my mouth … and from my heart.
Losing one person that you love is dang hard – but losing a second person at the same time almost seems cruel … like God is trying to break us, right?
But that’s not what our good, good Father is trying to do … ever.
Though our detours don’t come with clear explanations, God does have a plan. He’ll use every stinking hurt we go through … if we are willing to let Him.
Detours come to test us, develop us, and to help us clean up our sin messes. In this challenging process, brokenness strips us of pride and self-sufficiency.
And it’s in this fragile place of complete dependency on God that we are humbled … so that He can get His greatest glory from our broken story.
There may be a momentary sinful tendency to bristle at the Creator receiving glory from our pain; however, this alternative will only bring us more heartache.
Plain and simple, this is where the rubber meets the road.
Is our faith in God stronger than the pain we feel?
Do we really trust Him?
I won’t understand this loss until I bow at my Savior’s feet one day, but I don’t want to look back and see my detour extended or exacerbated by unforgiveness or sinful reactions.
He’s been faithful before so I choose to trust Him with my pain, once again.
Maybe you’ve hit a detour and you’re at a crossroads in your story?
Perhaps you’ve gotten lost on your detour and you’re miles away from God?
You can always turn around … no matter how far you have traveled.
Won’t you trust Him with your pain and let Him guide you safely back into His mercy? There is no sweeter place to be, especially when we are heartbroken and disillusioned.
And yes, I still believe to the core of my very being – He’s a good, good Father … and He’s perfect in all of His ways.
Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. James 1:12