“Before the mountains were brought forth,
or ever You had formed the earth and the world,
from everlasting to everlasting You are God.”
This past weekend was one of great joy and great sorrow all happening at the same time. I had the honor of helping direct a wedding for a sweet, God-fearing couple. It was actually a first for me, but I was approached because someone knew of my organizational skills. A dear friend of mine was kind enough to give of her time to walk with me, and together, we saw that this couple’s wishes for a fairy tale wedding were accomplished.
It was really rather easy to pull this off as the bride and her sweet mama were extremely organized. They knew what they wanted and came prepared at each meeting with the answers to our questions. They were a pleasure, for sure.
The one thing that hung over all these plans was the cancer the mom had been fighting for 8 years. You see, it decided to rear its ugly head right before the wedding. She was so sick, yet so determined. Although late because of the battle she was against, she made it to the dress rehearsal with a beautiful smile on her face. It was her heart’s desire to be there for her only daughter, but she wanted to blend in with the crowd so the bride would have the attention all moms want their little girls to have at their weddings.
Unfortunately, the cancer won that battle and she was unable to attend the wedding the next afternoon. While we were dancing at the reception, she had her first dance with Jesus. The cancer may have taken her body from this earth, but she was whole and healed and full of indescribable joy as she saw Jesus face to face.
Yes, it was hard. The wedding books don’t talk about these kind of things. They aren’t supposed to happen like this. But sometimes they do.
You might be asking the big WHY question about the timing of all this. Believe me, it certainly crossed my mind. My pastor called it “God’s mysterious providence.” Another friend said she sure has a lot of questions for God when she gets to heaven. It is an age-old question as to why bad things happen to good people.
Speaking at his wife’s funeral a few nights ago, the father of the bride commented on how happy he was to give his daughter away to her new husband, but didn’t realize that he was going to have to give away both the girls in his life on the same day.
So, how do we respond to things such as this; things we just can’t understand no matter how hard why try? When Les was sick, I was so upset with God. Why would He let Les be that sick when He could just speak and his healing would be complete? Why would He let me be widowed at 56 years old? Why was all this happening to us? I am sure this father and the family has thought some of the same questions. In the sorrow of those times, God would let me lash out my questions at Him. It’s okay to do that because God is big enough to handle it!!! But after I was worn out from the tears and anger, I would feel God pull me close and whisper in my spirit that it was going to be okay. He simply asked that I trust Him. I wanted answers, but He didn’t give them. What He did give me was love and comfort and peace and joy right there in the midst of the pain and sorrow.
God is God and we are not. His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts. He knows the beginning and the end. All we know is the here and now. He has all the facts. We have very few. So why is it that we have such a hard time letting Him be God? Why do we think we know better than Him? We all struggle with that, don’t we? We have our plans and we think He should honor them. If we could see the far-reaching consequences of our plans, we might be quicker to just let Him work out His plans in His way and in His time.
I can’t answer your questions of why things happen the way they do. No one can except God and He may not be handing out answers the way you’d like Him to. I can tell you that accepting His ways as what is best in my life gives me that peace that can’t be explained. Fighting against Him is tiring and I choose not to fight. I choose to trust. It is a choice that has to be made daily. That is the response that gets me through this life with its ups and downs. It is the response this family has chosen, too, and because of that, they will find peace and joy in the midst of their pain and sorrow.
Lots of love, Sharon