The LORD Gives – The LORD Takes

Soon Jesus and his disciples were on their way to the town of Nain, and a big crowd was going along with them. As they came near the gate of the town, they saw people carrying out the body of a widow’s only son. Many people from the town were walking along with her.       Luke 7:11-12 (CEV)

Suddenly, a powerful wind swept in from the wilderness and hit the house on all sides. The house collapsed, and all your children are dead. I am the only one who escaped to tell you.”

Job stood up and tore his robe in grief. Then he shaved his head and fell to the ground to worship. He said,

I came naked from my mother’s womb, and I will be naked when I leave. The Lord gave me what I had, and the Lord has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord!”     Job 1:19-21 (NLT)

A three-year-old boy died in a drowning accident this week. My heart is clenched in pain for his parents and grandparents. This kind of tragedy makes most of us reach out and hold our own children and grandchildren until they squirm away to play, not understanding the fear and gratitude that has swept over their adults. It also makes those of who believe in God wonder “WHY?!!”

Even though I am ten year member of the club no one wants to belong to (parents who have had a child die) I will not claim to know how these parents feel today. Nor will I attempt to espouse my personal 10-step-personal-program on how to make the pain less and how to move on. This is a time for me to pray for this family. The #1 principle I have learned in the last ten years is that God, and only God, can comfort and answer the questions, the rage, and the overwhelming pain that comes with the death of your child.

Jesus stopped a funeral procession because His heart wept with compassion for this widowed mother who was burying her son. God changed His mind and restored life to the widow’s son. WHY?

Job is a man of God, righteous. In one day all of his children are killed when the house they were in collapses in a storm. Job expresses his grief but then acknowledges what he does know – God is in control of the giving and the taking. God is in control of life and death. But Job doesn’t ask WHY? Scripture says he worshiped God.

Job is a troubling book to me. The Old Testament Scriptures to this point say if I am obedient to God, I will be blessed. If I am disobedient, I will be cursed (Example: Deuteronomy 28). Then I get to Job and that definitive cause and effect goes out the window!

Jesus speaks directly to the blessing and cursing rules in John 9 when the disciples ask if the sins of the parents or the sins of the man himself caused him to be blind. Jesus says the man’s blindness will allow God to be glorified when He heals the man, which Jesus did.

So why couldn’t God have healed my son and been glorified for it? Why didn’t God allow this 3-year-old to be miraculously saved? I don’t know. And that is why I believe that God is the only one who can answer these questions. The best thing I can do is be willing to listen to those who grieve and pray they have ears to hear God’s voice.

Ten years. My son died almost a decade ago and yet, I miss him in the most ordinary moments of life. Join me today in praying for this little boy’s family. May they know that God is right there in the ordinary moments of the days and the nights, to listen and comfort as only He can.

Yet I Will Praise You written by Andy Park & sung by Melissa Boraski

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