As odd as this may seem, I have a peace walking down this path. That doesn’t mean that I don’t have my hard days where I throw a tantrum, flinging myself onto my bed and sobbing my eyes out to an empty room. “I have no idea what you are thinking, God,” I often yell, “I want my life back. I can’t do this. I can’t do this alone… Are we done yet, because I want to give up. I… just… want…to…give… up” Sometimes the sobs seem endless, though they eventually slow and once I get past these moments (and you know we all have them), I am not sure I would want Bobby to just to disappear, not if this is where I am to be. I know, it doesn’t quite make sense, but this may help.
Do I believe God heals? Yeah, I do. Do I think He heal every time? Heals, yes. Cures, I’m not so sure. He will always heal a broken heart, if He is allowed in. He can heal a past full of trauma and broken dreams. This doesn’t always mean an illness is cured or a spouse miraculously appears. Oh, He is quite capable of this and so much more. Some of the highlights in my life are seeing incredible miracles with my own eyes, miracles that I probably would not have believed otherwise. But, what about those other stories, the ones without happy endings- no miracle in sight? What of those stories that keep going, with one tragedy after another, beating one down like waves crashing on the beach. What then? What do we do with that?
So how do we make sense of this God, who appears to sometimes answer the fervent prayers of some and dismiss those of others? After months of working this one through, I came to an understanding that seems to settle my heart. It’s easiest for me to relay it through dialogue because this is how I feel most comfortable talking with God;
“I don’t get this, God. I really don’t. This doesn’t look very ‘loving’ to me.”
“Then child, what would it look like if I answered every prayer? If I fixed everything broken. If I cured every disease. If I stopped every pain. If I brought a loving partner for every man and every women. If I did everything people asked, what then? For you see, they would come not for Me, but for what I could do for them. Their eyes would stop seeking Me.
This doesn’t mean I don’t love because I do- I truly do.
But if I were to answer every request, then they would fall in love with what I could do rather than falling in love with who I am and they would not be coming for Me at all. So my question to you, dear child, is will you come simply for Me?”
“What,” I thought to myself. I swallowed hard. The weight of what He was saying was palpable. This was a hard one to digest. Would I come to him just for his own sake, just to be near him? If I were to receive no cure; if Bob were to still remain in my life, would I still choose to be close to him? Author John Piper asks a similar question; “If Christ were not in heaven, would you still want to go?”
It makes you stop, right? I mean like- halt. Can you feel the importance of this? Would we still want to go?
And, it is in that moment, where these weighty questions seem to hang in the air, that I hear the Lord beckoning me, “Oh dear one, if this is to be your walk and if this is to be your journey, let us do it together, no matter what it looks like.” Can you hear the excitement in his voice? Can you see the love in his eyes? He just wants to be near me. Even typing this, tears stream down my face because it’s his love that draws me every time. It’s not a duty or an act of obedience. It’s love. Oh, I love him so. I love him for who He is. I love him for the way He grips my hand so tight and makes me feel safe when we walk together. Scared and safe, all at the same time.
Lord, I don’t know everything about you, but what I do know, I love. I love how you love. I love how you weep with us and how you cry with us. I love how you’re tough and you will fight for us. I love how in one moment you are fierce and challenging and the next so soft and gentle. So for better or worse in sickness and in health- if Bob stays or goes- I choose you. This doesn’t mean that I am going to do it perfectly or even well. In fact, I guarantee I am not. So, when I have my moments where I’m a little muddy- okay, a lot muddy- I want you to hear my heart say that I choose you.
I choose you because I’m crazy about you. I just want to be near you, God.