Thursday, March 6, 2008

"Why Did God Take Her From Us?"

If God were to withdraw from us, even for a moment, we would instantly be wiped out; we would cease to be. That’s because the life in us is actually God’s life, and we have no other life, no life of our own. We think we have. We think animals and plants have life of their own, too. But in fact, life is a divine attribute, like being all-powerful or knowing everything. Only God has life (or even existence) of His own; we only share His life. He lends His life to us. That’s why we would be annihilated if God were to withdraw from us.

God is eternally faithful; He does not withdraw from us, ever. Of course, we have the option of withdrawing from Him. And the very first human beings did exactly that, just as all the rest of us have. They pulled their drinking straws out of the Fountain of Life and walked away. In doing so, they distorted human nature, changed both their psychology and their biology; changed the very meaning of what it is to be human, for human beings were made for God, made to live. Our first parents became mortal creatures, mortal creatures who gave birth to mortal creatures. Death is in our genes. That’s why we die. It's not because of God, but the opposite; it's from "God deprivation".

All of this is to say death is not God’s fault. He is not the Author of it, and contrary to what you may have been taught, God did not inflict death upon us as retaliation for our sins. It isn’t supposed to be this way! Death is as much His enemy as ours.

That’s why, when God came to earth in flesh, He Himself died. And just as when you shine a flashlight into a dark room, it is not the light, but the darkness, that vanishes, so when Divine Life shines in the grave, death, not life, disappears. Christ’s presence in the grave, filling it with light and life and love, transfigures it beyond recognition. In fact, Christ makes of the grave a stepping stone to new and more glorious life.

Death is not God’s fault, but He suffers it to be, for our own benefit. Otherwise people like Stalin would stalk this earth forever! Otherwise, we would all live forever in our sins. But as it is, death ends our sinning.

Death is not God’s fault, but He does reserve the right to determine, for each of us, when it shall occur. He lengthens or shortens our days. He decides when it is the best (or least horrible) time for each of us to die.

We do not always understand His reasoning. We ask in grief-stricken bewilderment why He did not choose to spare our Barbara for many more years, and we find no answers.

But the point is this. God is a lot smarter than we are. He knows a lot more than we do. He has much greater wisdom than we have. He loves Barbara infinitely more than we do, and He loves us infinitely more than we love ourselves, even. Therefore, if we are Christians, we trust that His decision was the wise and right and good and loving one, even if we can’t see why this is.

Someday He may make us understand why. And then we will see that indeed, He showed marvelous wisdom, miraculous love, judgment beyond our imagining. Then we will thank and praise Him with full hearts for timing Barbara’s death as He did, and for all His other glorious deeds. Then, faith teaches us, we will sing to Him our grateful alleluias.

But if we believe this shall be some day, why wait until then to praise Him?

Glory to You, O Lord, Glory to You for all things!



Randy Asburry said...


What a wonderful reflection on God's mercy and love in the face of death, our greatest enemy! I appreciate your focus on giving glory to God even in the midst of grief. After all, He has trampled down death by death. Thanks much!