In so many ways I remember it like it was yesterday. It was 1996 and we were anticipating our third child. We were planning colors for the room and theme and all the things you think about when you’re expecting a baby. The weeks were flying by. Then there was the day I never thought I’d have to experience. I just never really feared things like this. It wasn’t that I was fearless. It was more that I simply never considered it might happen this way.
We were sitting in an exam room and I heard the Doctor say something like, “I’m sorry. Your baby is not going to make it.” Angie was a few months pregnant. Then in an unexpected moment it all ended. Has life ever suddenly turned upside down on you? I went from thinking about names to trying not to think at all. Watching my bride in such emotional pain was really more than I could bear. Because of that, her pain was even more than it had to be because I wasn’t there for her when she needed me so much.
The next few days seemed like such a fog. I don’t remember much. I do remember one thing vividly. I remember being alone in our bedroom and saying, “Why!? With so many people who don’t even want a child, or others who aren’t good parents, why would you allow this to happen to us? How could you?”. I’m fully aware that I’m not God’s gift to parenting… I’m no parenting expert. Its just what I was feeling in a moment of deep pain. I don’t know if I’d even call it praying. It was more direct and deeply personal than what I normally prayed. I felt insulted. Betrayed. Alone. By a God who I was trying to serve as a pastor. Everything I’d believed about loving God and life was in a head-to-head collision with the reality of pain… a pain that He (God) allowed.
I think all of us who call ourselves Christians or followers of Jesus believe it on some level. We believe that if you love Jesus, and try to live in a way that honors Him, things should work out. You should have a better life. We can’t really point to a chapter or verse (although some attempt to and in doing so often stretch the Scriptures beyond their meaning), we just know that if we were God, that’s how we’d do it. Then life happens.
So, if there’s a God, why does He allow so much suffering? If He loves us, how could he let us experience such deep pain. I know there are many others who’ve faced deeper and much more prolonged pain than I have. Why?
This Sunday we’re going to dive into that question and discover something about our God. If you’re in Central Florida we’d love for you to be our guest at C3 Church (meeting at Timber Creek High School at 9:30 or 11). At C3, we deal with real life issues and discover the hope God brings each of us right where we are. I hope to see you there.