I had a really great conversation this week. I sat with one of the pastors of my church and we discussed some aspects of my story.
I shared how sometimes I fight to trust the goodness of God. I know that God will always use anything that transpires in my life- the good, the bad, the easy, the hard- to make me more like Jesus. But as one who has a passion for learning, I recognize that I grow the most in the hard places. It’s in those places that I see God more and rely on myself less. Thus, I tend to think God wants hard things in my life because I certainly recognize how far from Christ’s character my lifestyle is some days. I need to grow.
I confessed that sometimes I feel God had to do something so extreme as to take my boys because I am so hard-headed and stubborn and independent. It took that much to free me from my self-righteousness and show me my need for Jesus.
And there my pastor stopped me. And what he said is a truth my heart still needs to fully grasp.
Don’t confuse causation with redemption.
To summarize my take on what we discussed, God did not cause my boys to get sick and die. That came from living in a broken and fallen world where disease exists and death occurs. In God’s patience and timing, He tolerates this brokenness until all that are His come to Him. But He did not cause my boys’ deaths. He did not take them from me.
Rather, He walked with me in the midst of the brokenness, true to His word and promise to never leave me and forsake me. True to His word, He redeemed this evil in my life using it for good. My boys found Jesus and secured their eternal destiny. My struggles and failures revealed the fallacy of religious doctrine and as I searched for the truth about God, He freed me into relationship and taught me about grace.
God does not cause the hard things in my life.
God does not cause the hard things in your life.
But He promises that when the hard comes, He will be right there the whole time. As we run to Him, He won’t let us be overcome. He will meet us in the hard and redeem it for good.
For some of you, this totally makes sense. But for those of us wounded, it’s a healing salve that eases pain.
Friends, we do serve a good God.
In His love for the world, He allows this period of brokenness. But rather than abandon us to the tragedies that transpire, He comes alongside. He meets us there. He redeems it, turning evil into good, thus providing the grace to endure.
Father, let this truth move from my head to my heart. Free me of my doubts of your goodness. Help me to trust your intentions of goodness in my life. And for those reading that also struggle, let this truth bring healing salve to the wounds in their heart. Continue to reveal yourself to us and make yourself known. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.