Recently faced with overwhelming loss, as friends of ours grieve the death of their beautiful baby boy, Conor, I found myself thinking: “God, where are you?!” Where is He when tragedy hits? Where is He when a family is forever shattered and lives are indelibly changed? And what am I meant to do in the moments when I don’t know how to function because the enormity of the situation feels bigger than my faith? Am I meant to cling to hope even when it hurts?
I struggled with all of these questions on the inside, while trying to be hopeful and expectant for a miracle on the outside. Conor’s mommy was pregnant with him and, a few days before her due date, found out that his little heart had stopped beating. She was devastated. We all were. I mean, how can I tell my friends that God is faithful, if He allowed this happen to them? You were meant to be faithful God… You’re in control. How could you let this happen to them… to their little boy? And then someone said something that hit me square on the jugular: God is not “in control”.
Well, He’s not “in control” as we understand the term “in control”. He IS sovereign, that is correct. But WE have freedom of choice and we can decide to either live by faith – in hope – or, in utter hopelessness. The truth is that tragedy happens… heartache and loss are a part of life. It’s not all His doing. It’s not God’s fault. Conor’s death is not God’s fault.
The message that carried my friends, through this ordeal is that they believe that God was with them through it all. The amount of strength and bravery I’ve witnessed from these two, is so inspiring! They explained: “He was sitting there with us, crying with us, because He hates seeing His children go through the pain that is in this world. Nobody is immune to pain or bad things but that we have a God that is right there with us in the darkest hour and He sits with us regardless of who we are, what we did. But because He loves us unconditionally. He always has and He always will.”
I was reminded me of a scripture that I had read in Matthew a few weeks ago. It says “blessed are you when you are at the end of your rope… with less of you, there is more of God and His rule.”
With tears in my eyes, I read this scripture over and over and eventually felt total peace. The glorious rainbow at the end of the storm is being able to find comfort, peace and healing in His arms. We somehow find ourselves clinging to Him, closer than ever before. Where is He when it hurts? Well, He’s hanging around waiting for us to reach out to Him… waiting to be invited into your heart so that He can fix it.
So this morning, as we try to make sense of the tragedy, and as my friends yearn for their baby boy and our broken hearts ache for their loss, I choose to trust God, even when it hurts. I choose to believe in His promises, even when it hurts. I choose to thank him for Conor’s beautiful life, even when it hurts. And I choose to believe that He makes all things work out for our good… even when it hurts.