Friday, April 2, 2010

The Storybook Outside

The weather here was eccentric. It was raining, then snowing, then beautiful sun was everywhere, then over-cast, then downright cold. This all happened in a matter of a couple hours.

My wife wrote a beautiful journal entry today calling the quickly changing weather pages of a storybook. This story was punctuated by the presence of a red-breasted Robin. She smiled and thought about showing our son all of the different seasons through our large window—all at once! But of course as soon as the thought occurred, it died.

I read the entry and I wanted to cry. I so want to see my son. I so want to watch my wife play with him. As we mull over questions regarding what-to-do-now, I can’t help but struggle with the way things should have been.

Should. That presumes so much.

1 Peter 4:19 states: Therefore let those who suffer according to God's will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good. What phrase is God’s will attached to? Is it God’s will to entrust our souls? Is it God’s will to do good? Yes, on both counts, but that is not the meaning. It is God’s will for us to go through suffering.

In Wayne Grudem’s commentary, he responds to our natural revulsion by stating: “While this may at first seem harsh (for it implies that at times it is God’s will that we suffer), upon reflection no better comfort in suffering can be found than this: it is God’s good and perfect will. For therein lies the knowledge that there is a limit to the suffering, both in its intensity and in its duration, a limit set and maintained by the God who is our creator, our saviour, our sustainer, our Father (1 Peter: Tyndale, 191f, emphasis mine).

What God can I go to if something this tragic happened out of His purview? Who is my God if my suffering is a mere accident? He’s not a Father then, merely a stronger older brother. Not a Father with a plan and a purpose, just a slightly more powerful and experienced guardian.

It hurts. I long to hold my son. There are moments of desperation where I want to stand before God and question his judgment. But here is the second rub: we are to entrust our souls to a faithful Creator. The souls tell us that this physical life will be marked by problems that the spiritual future will gladly miss. Our faithful Creator reminds us that not only is he worthy of our trust, but he is our beginning and our end. It was his power that brought us here, He opens and closes the womb. He gave us our little Athan, and He continues to hold him now.

In the midst of distraction, depression, and just the plain, old, and ordinary, my focus must be on doing good. Moral purity in the midst of trials is what the Christian is called to. For in fact, suffering is limited. There is an end to your story, and it is in the presence of your faithful Creator.

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