Thursday, September 27, 2012

Especially For My Friend

A dear friend read yesterday's post about my experiences in dealing with the sudden death of my mother, and wrote me a lovely e-mail. "You are salt," she told me, the highest compliment I know.

Only a few moments later, though, came a follow-up e-mail.

"Of course, I often wonder as I'm reading your reflections (especially the serious ones) 'Where does MomQueenBee see God in all of this?'" she wrote.  "Perhaps that's not the direction you want to go, and I respect that. But since that's the side of you that has ministered to me, I miss it."

Ouch. For the second time in two weeks, I had missed the main point--where did God fit into those days and weeks? This morning I looked down the row of funeral mourners at my friend L, the mother of the boy we were mourning. Her face was a mask of sorrow and pain, and I was praying that as she drowns in tears God is revealing to her the same things He reminded me when my mother died.

1. God is love. This one is hard to remember when all you are seeing is loss. God is big enough to handle the inevitable "why did this happen?," and the anger, and the frustration. When I hugged L last night and told her we'd get together next week, left unsaid was the knowledge that we'll be hurling questions at God, while knowing that He loved her son (and my mother) even more than we did.  

2. God is in control. One of my favorite verses is Psalm 139:5--"You have enclosed me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me," and I whispered it often after Mom died.  It reminded me that I am not just flopping around aimlessly in this world--God has put me into a me-shaped indentation in His hand, and is carrying me where He wants me to be. Which leads me to the final point:

3. God does not waste pain. I believe this. I believe it with all my heart. When we suffer (as we have been promised we will, as long as we're on earth) God will use that suffering for a greater good. We may never know what that greater good was--we cannot see God's face, only the train of His robe--but we can be comforted that He never takes pleasure in our pain and never, ever wastes it.

I was devastated by the loss of my mother, and I cannot even comprehend the pain of losing a child. But the bone-deep convictions that God is in control, and does not waste pain, are His promises to get us through.

We have to believe: Love overcomes.

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