Why is this happening?
God, why don’t you do something?
Why have you left us to fend for ourselves?
In one form or another, these are questions I’ve asked during difficult times in my life. Times when it seems I’m unable to catch my breath or brace myself before another heartache hits.
Like the hard season that dealt us painful losses: the deaths of three family members within a year and a half, followed closely by the sorrow of a miscarriage. After this final blow, I remember sitting outside, unable to hold back my tears. It felt as if my heart had finally broken completely in two.
I had mistakenly thought the blessing of this new baby meant the dark clouds were lifting. But that wasn’t the case. Not yet anyway.
Disappointment threatened to swallow me. I felt bruised and beat up by all that had come my way and I certainly did not feel favored by God. In my anguish, I found myself silently questioning again. God, why is this happening?
A few short years later we were faced with another hard thing. Our first grandbaby would be born with a serious heart defect. He would need multiple open-heart surgeries and at some point, a heart transplant. Without these things, he would not survive. This hard season brought a whole new meaning to the word “hard”.
Again, the question surfaced. God, why is this happening?
I suppose that’s why Gideon’s words in Judges 6:12-13 resonate with me so well.
“Then the angel of the Lord appeared to him and said: ‘The Lord is with you, valiant warrior.’ Gideon said to him, “Please, my lord, if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened? And where are all his wonders that our fathers told us about? They said, ‘Hasn’t the Lord brought us out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and handed us over to Midian.”
I understand where Gideon’s questions came from; they stemmed from a heart broken and weighed down with all the hard things. A heart that knew God but couldn’t make sense of His silence. A heart full of questions much like my own.
Oh, Gideon, I get you.
As Gideon walked in obedience through those hard places, he began to witness the beauty of God’s goodness and the peace of His presence. This has been true for me as well.
I sometimes wonder whether I’d recognize God’s goodness had I not traveled through these adversities. Would I be as close to Him today if those struggles had not been mine? Would my family know of God’s faithfulness had there been no need to call on Him?
I will never know all the answers, but walking through these heartbreaks has taught me a few things.
What I’ve Learned
God does indeed love us, and He absolutely cares. For you. For me. For our families. And for all those with a front row seat to the heartaches we endure.
God is never absent. He knows what we’re going through, and He remains with us every step of the way. Through the good and the bad.
God will cause everything to work together for our good. Everything. Even our deepest heartaches.
God can be trusted. With my heart and with yours.
The Lord is with you, valiant warrior.