I read an article on The Gospel Coalition a month ago that really ministered to me. The article was titled, "When Christian Comfort Hurts More than it Helps." I thought it was going to be another article about what not to say to people who are grieving or something similar to that. But it was different and it really hit home for me.
The article was written by a woman who lost her husband. While one of her friends was over at her house and saw her cry, she asked, "What is God teaching you through all this?" Her response: "I shook my head, what was the right answer? Was she looking for something specific? Some glaring flaw I couldn't see until now? Would any object lesson soothe my ache? The Lord promises to draw near to the brokenhearted and resume those crushed in sprit (Ps 34:18). I needed compassion not a spiritual assessment."
I realized that no on has flat out asked me this, but many people have told me how much I will grow and learn through my daughter's loss. I know it's true, I will know the Lord in a deeper way now. But because of the immense pain of Callie's loss and the dire need to honor her life, I am constantly putting pressure on myself to figure out what God is teaching me. If I don't know, I feel more guilt. After a year, shouldn't I know exactly what God is teaching me and what he is doing through this tragedy? Shouldn't I not be as sad anymore? Shouldn't I be a more joyful person as that is what will honor God? Shouldn't church be a joy and not a burden to attend now? Shouldn't I be "over" my fear of meeting new people? Why is it still hard after a year? These thoughts cross my mind all the time, and I'm thankful for the freedom this post says. Something as simple as God has been so kind to us and faithful during this year is enough.
I feel freedom now to not have this deep spiritual answer to the question I ask myself all the time. What is God doing through this? I don't know what He's doing. This quote from the article is so good: "But is God shouting some spiritual insight or is he a gentle Father calling us to himself? Russ Ramsey writes:
"Because the Lord often withholds explanations for our pain, we must not look at suffering as though it is some diving gimmick designed to teach us some important life lesson. That would make too little of the reality. God's people do not walk through suffering toward the moral of the story. Rather, we walk toward the eternal presence of the Maker and Lover of our souls."
Often in the crucible of pain come no answers. The only answer I have sometimes is that God’s sufficient power is made perfect in our weakness (2 Cor. 12:9). So the pressure is off. There is not a single answer to the question of what the Lord is doing through Callie's death. Some days in the midst of my pain all I can say is that I trust the Lord through this. That His Grace is sufficient. I trust He is doing something that I don't see. I trust that He is teaching me and growing me when I can't see it. Because honestly I don't see it right now. When I feel far from the Lord, I can trust that He is near.