May 24, 2010  •  In Christianity, Personal, Relationships, Touching

If We Had All the Answers, We Wouldn’t Need Faith

I read this story on WithoutWax.tv and I had to share…

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Emotional Whiplash

Whiplash is a word I’ve used more than once when describing the emotions I often go through as a pastor.

Yesterday was a difficult day. I apologize in advance for the length of this post, but I need to write this now more than you need to read it, so please bear with me. Let me give you a little back story to help you understand.

Over the course of the past 2 years Brandi and I have had two sets of friends who have experienced the loss of a baby. Todd and Angie Smith who lost their baby after 2 hours of life and Mike and Holly Phelps who lost their baby late in their first pregnancy.

I can’t even begin to imagine the heavy heartache and deep loss they went through. And while getting pregnant again doesn’t take a way that pain, you can imagine how excited I was to hear that both couples were once again pregnant.

While each couple faced their own unique challenges, they were both on track to have healthy babies. I couldn’t help but think of what a bitter sweet experience it would be for both of them. A glimmer of hope in the midst of the darkness they’ve been walking through.

In the early hours of yesterday morning, in hospitals just two blocks away from each other, both couples had a pre-term delivery.

Yesterday morning I walked into two different hospital rooms. Both scenes could not have been more similar and yet more different.

Both rooms had moms who were laying in hospital beds. Both rooms had dads who were right by the bed holding and rocking a tiny infant.

However, the similarities end there as one baby was breathing and the other was not.

Todd and Angie’s room was full of prayers, crying and pure joy. There was life.

Mike and Holly’s room was full of prayers and crying, but no joy. No life.

The whole way to the Phelp’s room I cried. I knew the situation I was walking into. I cried out to God…

How could this happen to them again?

Why God, would you allow this family to endure this pain yet again?

Haven’t they been through enough?

Why God?

I’ve been criticized in certain circles for writing a book called Plan B, which is about God, crisis and pain. A book that clearly states I don’t think there are answers to all of life’s questions and complexities.

I dare any one of those critics to stand in the room with this young couple and even try to answer all of the questions they had yesterday as they sit there holding their lifeless child.

I don’t know if I’m allowed to say this as a pastor, but I’m going to anyway… Isn’t it amazing how in a moment like that you so desperately want God near, but at the same time you also feel secretly mad at Him?

Reality for Christians often means we have more questions than we do answers.

Reality is sometimes lacking the faith that will give us a sustained hope.

Reality is even though we know God is with us sometimes we feel completely alone.

Reality is even though we believe, we also doubt.

There’s a big difference between trust and understanding. They say trust is what we need when we don’t have understanding. So today I’m praying for trust. A big, huge, helping of trust.

It’s funny but the final paragraph of Plan B says,

I’m asking you to trust that one day faith will win over doubt, that light will win over darkness, love will win over hate, and all things will one day be redeemed. I’m asking you, right in the middle of your Plan B pain, to trust this process that is going on in your life.

I never knew when I wrote those words how much I would need them on a day like today.

3 Responses to “If We Had All the Answers, We Wouldn’t Need Faith”

  1. How very sad. I cannot imagine going through such a thing. It’s very hard to be a Christian and to say "no, I don’t know why God let’s bad things happen, especially to good people, and to those who say they love Him and follow Him." If God’s our Father, if we’re supposed to see him as our parent, why does he let us hurt so much? I hear some people say "So we learn," or "well, we live in a fallen world" or "so we have free will."

    But it still sucks. The only thing that helps me through those times of questioning, when I’m angry with God, is the idea that He is so much bigger than I am, and that heartache doesn’t last forever. And that I really believe everything will be redeemed in the next life.

  2. Geek in Heels:

    @JessicaMayLords — Thank you so much for your comment. I completely agree that sometimes it really sucks to have to suffer (or see others suffer), to have so many questions and not be able to ask Him directly for the answers. But like you, I see these times as further proof of what we have to look forward to in heaven. :-)

  3. Kit:

    That was so moving. I needed to just hear that. Last week I was admitted for preterm contractions- so scary. I am only 26 weeks along. I felt so vulnerable, thankfully the baby is ok….
    I think that there are times when people will say they are angry with God… But I think it’s these times when we should restructure our thinking fro ‘it’s not fair’ to just giving it to the Lord and try to find some comfort knowing he hasn’t abandoned us. I felt so low and out last week when I was all medicated up to stop the contractions- and I just asked God gently for the strength to yield to his will and be embraced by Him. It was all the energy I had to get by. And for some reason, that small request I made was all I needed to feel as though I was safe and being loved by Him.

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