Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Here or There?

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Revelation 21:3-4

“Don’t you feel like God let you down?” Sitting with a cup of coffee and a good friend, we were discussing how I was coping after Andrew’s death. I answered honestly, yes and no. I explained that God had so diligently provided for every need we’d had. He’d blessed us with the most incredible medical team that truly loved Andrew. He wasn’t treated as a patient, but like their own child. God had provided for us in advance to have great jobs with quality benefits so the medical expenses did not overwhelm us even when I had to stop working. And in His mercy, when things were the most medically challenging, Andrew had already entered a coma-like state so he was not aware of the trauma. We had certainly seen God involved every step along the way. Those were just some of the biggies too. That didn’t include any of the daily little situations he took care of. God had truly been faithful the last 18 months. The only thing he didn’t do was heal Andrew.

That final line stayed with me past the visit and on the drive home. My thoughts were swirling. God certainly was powerful enough and able to heal Andrew. But he chose not to. I couldn’t say it was because He didn’t care because I couldn’t deny his faithfulness as so many other needs were met. Jesus was also proof of God’s care, for why else would He sacrifice his own son? As I wrestled with my thoughts and confusion that day, I begged God to help me understand. If He really cared, why didn’t He heal Andrew? Then with absolute certainty, I heard his answer.

I did. I did do what you asked. I healed Andrew. I just chose to heal him in my presence instead of yours. Andrew is whole, healed and better than ever. He no longer battles any disease or suffers at all. He is with me.

Like Job when God granted him an audience, it was enough. I had my answer and I had peace. Yes I still had to trust God’s sovereign plan, but I could counter my doubts about the truth of his love, the certainty of his care, the reality of his power. Andrew was free from his battle just like I wanted and was enjoying life beyond my understanding. That day I made the choice to embrace the joy of my son over the grief of my loss. His life was now perfect as a result of God's choice. I would not deny him that joy. Now I simpy look forward to the day when we will share it together.

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