I’m having one of those what-the-hell-God days. I like to believe that I’m pretty good at trusting God. At knowing that even in the darkest times, God is in the midst of it…somewhere. Even when I can’t see it or feel it, I can trust that God is there.
But then there are days that leave you asking God, “What the hell is up with this?”
A bright 30-something light in our community has been snuffed out by a stroke. A stroke! A healthy, vibrant, joy-filled, determined the make the world better woman is gone from our midst, and her own brain took her out. What the hell, God?
With all the ugly, hate-filled, destructive people at work in Your world right now, You decide to take out this one?
On normal, everything-is-fine days, this is not how I believe God works. I don’t really think that God is some sort of divine gamer playing at deciding who lives and who dies. But when something like this happens, I can’t help but cry out, “Really, God? Was this not a time when You could have stepped in and stopped this whole thing?”
Of course, this theology (fleeting as it may be) is faulty. God is not our cosmic bellhop ready to fix whatever we decide needs fixing. If that were true, no one we love would ever die, hunger would be eradicated and war would be studied no more.
When seemingly senseless things like this happen, many people are tempted in to believing that there is no God. After all, if there was, this horrible thing wouldn’t have happened, right? But that’s a case of creating God in our own image, isn’t it? If God doesn’t do what we think God should do, then there must not be a God. We can all fall victim to a self-centered theology from time to time–especially in those times when we’re really hurting.
God did not cause this stroke. God did not will it to happen. God did not wish pain on the multitudes of people who loved this enthusiastic, energetic and engaging young woman. But God was there in the midst of it all. In the prayers, in the hopes against hope, in the grief, in the leaving of this world and the journey to the next.
And God is here with me–even in my asking of improper and impudent questions. Not answering those questions, mind you, but present in the asking.
Keeping the faith when things really suck, trusting God when life seems so terribly unfair and continuing to hope in the face of disappointments and disasters isn’t for wimps.