Saturday, December 3, 2011

Life Is a Puzzle (But Only God Sees the Picture on the Front of the Box)

I just have to write today to clear my mind about the enigma of life from my angle. I fully believe in a transcendent but engaged God Who is all-knowing, all-powerful, all-aware Who further created everything and seeks to delight in His creatures as they seek to delight in Him. I get that.

From my view, though I wholly embrace what I just wrote, I confess that I am terrible at trying to piece together all that goes on from my viewpoint. I firmly believe that God will work all things out according to His will. I fail miserably at making sense of it or being able to find sense or logic that can be embraced for the details and seeming tragedies of life. It is like trying to put a very large and complex puzzle together without having a hint at what the picture is intended to look like.

This week has been one of those weeks that has been almost overwhelming to the spiritual senses. So much is going on, and the pieces of the puzzle just do not fit together. The pieces are there, in good news and bad news, but they make no sense to me.

Let me pull back the curtain of my observations and reveal just a few of my non-fitting pieces.

I believe God alone is the giver and taker of life. Man seeks to circumvent God’s realm by preventing life or speeding up death in many ways for many reasons. In the end, God Himself can only give life. Why, in His wisdom and goodness, does God create life in a womb and then permit that sacred cradle of life to become the baby’s tomb before it is even born? Now I understand that some choose to play God and intentionally kill their conceived babies for a host of one-sided reasons. But what about the miscarriage? A life is conceived and grows to a point, and then from some physical reason the baby dies or is ejected by its mother’s own body. Why does God wait weeks or months? I’m sure there are all-wise reasons (and I mean that), but I just cannot see them from where I sit.

Here is another handful of puzzle pieces. Just today I received great news from my 21-year-old daughter: she has been given an “all clear” from her second bout of lung cancer in less than three years. Everyone in my family is inexpressibly elated. On this same day, however, I receive an update that the beautiful younger-than-me mother of four children is nearing the end of her life because of an inoperable brain tumor. Huddled with her family and loved ones at the hospice just a few blocks down the street from my home, this woman will soon leave her loving husband and four not-yet-fully-grown-up children without a mother. I believe God can heal, and that He does, and that He has. I just do not get the logic behind His discretionary practice of doing so. During my daughter's last battle with cancer, God allowed a daddy with three very young children to be taken by cancer. I cannot put into words how happy I am that we still have our daughter. I cannot put into words how shaken I am that God in His goodness and greatness allows families to lose their mommy or daddy before it seems right to allow it to happen. Yet He does. I do not, and cannot, put those pieces together.

I have many more pieces which I will not share presently, if ever. I just write these things to express what my eyes and heart cannot mesh together. I do not write to discourage anyone. If anything, I write to say that you can have profound questions about how life works, and yet still fully embrace God and His goodness. I do not reject the belief that God weaves all the details and tragedies of life together wonderfully. I truly believe that He does. I simply acknowledge that God has seen fit not to show us the front of the puzzle box. It puts us in a great place to need to trust Him, rather than trying to fit everything together ourselves. From my view, there is so much that will make sense to me only after I see the front of the box. ~ KES

7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace 8 which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, 9 having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, 10 that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth-- in Him. 11 In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, 12 that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory. – Ephesians 1:7-12

38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8:38-39