Lingering at Alyssa’s bed after kissing her good-night, l gazed at my daughter as she lay giggling and cuddling with her Glo Worm. Happiness emanated from her, her smile lighting up the room.
Drinking in the moment, fear suddenly enveloped me. Unexplainably, I was terrified that I would lose her. There was no rational reason for this thought, of course. All I could think of is that if Alyssa wasn’t in my life, my world would grow dark, like when a stadium loses its electricity, only to be lit dimly by emergency lights.
I couldn’t shake the fear; I fought tears while she talked and laughed. Do all moms have this fear? Or is this some kind of foreshadowed preparation God was giving me? The latter terrified me all the more, so I willed myself not to think about it anymore. Yet the feeling wouldn’t shake free.
The Bold Prayer
I felt God whisper in my spirit, Tell me how you feel.
“I’m afraid you’ll take her from me,” I admitted in my spirit.
Why are you afraid of that?
“Because that’s the kind of God you are,” I responded with a boldness that took me aback.
Whoa. Did I actually just say that?
But even more, do I actually believe it?
Do I really believe that, at best, the God I serve, who sees the big picture and the blip of our short lives, allows suffering for the sake of the eternal good that will come to it?
Or at worst, do I believe that the God I serve is a God who brings his children to suffering solely for the sake of the glory they will bring to him?
Hurt All Around
Maybe I found myself in this place because a friend just lost her adult son last week and I know she won’t cease serving, praising and pointing to God, even in her grief. Maybe it’s because I just listened to a woman talk about losing her toddler son and then writing a book to help other moms deal with their grief. The memory reel of my mind took me back to countless followers of God who had known such tragedy, yet served God through it, allowing God to bring great beauty and eternal treasures from their suffering.
Lifting My Eyes
Feeling like a child who had just disrespected her Father, my heart’s eyes slowly lifted up, fearing what look I’d find on His face after I admitted what I hadn’t dared to put into words.
And as always, my Father seemed pleased that I actually said the words in my prayer, words of which he already was aware, of course. Because once I admitted my feelings to God, I felt he walked me out of my dark, myopic closet and into a Narnia-ish world I hadn’t known.
My common denominator thinking – seeing suffering saints and the work God did through them – was flawed, I realized. God wasn’t the cause of this suffering. Nor did he allow his children to be unfairly targeted as the victims of tragedy.
My God isn’t a God who causes suffering. He’s a God who is present in suffering.
He’s the God who swoops in to comfort his children who suffer at the hands of a fallen world and brings beautiful things out of that which seems hopeless.
No, he’s not the God whom I should fear will bring–or permit–calamity simply because he knows I’ll allow him to use my broken vessel with whatever pieces are left. He’s the God who will never leave my side and whom I can trust no matter what.
The Truth Shall Set You Free
I sit in wonder at how this little epiphany of mine all started. It began with my Father beckoning me to be honest with him, to admit the ugly truth. He knew it anyway. But only when I would admit it could he begin to show me the better way. Gently. Without condemnation.
As I kissed Alyssa good-night once again, I prayed for her protection and health as I always do, even with a touch of desperation to my plea. But I felt peace. He truly is my good and loving Father whom I can trust with my daughter, my life, and everything I hold dear, no matter what this broken world may bring me.
Have you struggled with being frightfully honest with God? Pour it all out, I challenge you. He knows it anyway. Perhaps there’s a part of Him he’s just waiting to show you, if only you’ll come honestly into His open arms.
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