I’m struggling with suffering these days. Not my own, but others. I have family members who are suffering, and I don’t like it.
I am a seriously left-brained person. There’s not an ounce of creativity in me. I am all logic, all the time. I don’t feel things. I think them. And then I overthink them some more. I want to know why. Why does this loving God who I place my trust in allow such suffering to go on? Suffering that seems so arbitrary, so unrelated to anything and clearly not the result of anyone’s bad choices.
I know all the theological answers, but they don’t really answer the question. Most of the time, I am ok with that. I know my place in relation to a holy God. I’m not meant to understand everything. I can only see one small piece of the puzzle. It’s like my dog wanting to understand why she can’t eat at the dining room table with us. I just can’t explain it to her, and if I tried, she wouldn’t get it. She’s a dog. [I’m not saying humans are dogs, just trying to draw some sort of analogy to wrap my brain around the issue.]
But it’s frustrating! I want it to end. I don’t want the people I love to hurt. I don’t want them to doubt that God loves them in the midst of their trials. And I know that my God can stop it.
That is faith. Trusting in something you can’t explain. Going back to the Word, to what I know is true. God loves us. Jesus wept for his people. We are in the midst of a redemption story, but all has not yet been restored and redeemed.
There’s no easy way to say it. This adoption process has come to an end. I will post the details soon because they are important, but for now, just the emotions.
If you’ve been following along, you know that we’ve had some ups and downs over the past 4-5 months so it wasn’t altogether surprising when we learned that we could not complete the adoption. Not surprising, but heartbreaking. While the sobbing has ceased, the pain remains. The dull achy reminder that those faces are not ours to hold. We will never kiss those beautiful feet that we stared at for months. We will never hear those sweet voices calling for “Mommy” and “Daddy.”
Ah, but we have been so mightily blessed. What a privilege to love! What a joy to know that your heart can love someone you’ve never met. Our hearts have been broken for what breaks the Father’s heart, which has been a daily prayer of mine for so long. The Father loves the little children, and we got to taste his sweet love for us and them. We were able to feel the Father’s passion to fight against injustice and for truth. We prayed for a mission, for a calling, for a life-changing experience, and we got one. It wasn’t the one we thought we were getting, but it was the one He had prepared for us.
What does James mean when he says to count it all joy when we face trials? I thought it meant that we were to buck up and be happy because even when life is hard, God still loves us. No, it now means that we sing through the weeping, and we smile through the tears. It’s not about ignoring the pain or looking at the bright side. It’s seeing the beauty in the ashes. It’s seeing Him on a bloody tree. It’s ugly and heart-wrenching, but it’s so beautiful and full of hope and joy.