11: Why and Until

Why and Until in grief

So, when something rough happens in life {in my case, to my boy} the question that reverberates through the canyons and valleys of life is “WHY?”

It’s a question that taunts.  We nearly loose our foothold.

I read Psalm 73 tonight.  It begins like this:

Surely God is good to Israel,
to those who are pure in heart.

But as for me, my feet had almost slipped;
    I had nearly lost my foothold.
For I envied the arrogant
when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

I read these words and I fall back to days of initial grief.  It’s 2005 again and we are looking at the world a new way.  The babe we had, the perfect babe, his future was forever altered.  My husband and I, we carry this babe in a store.   In shock, in grief, we somehow try to function, to get groceries from the wholesale club.

As we enter, a father and son stand together testing out a keyboard, laughing.  It wouldn’t have caught my eye for any of the previous 20+ years of my life, but there, that day, it was a crushing blow.

In an instant, we were both leveled, fighting back tears.  What was the blow?  – the idea that the thing we were witnessing, the father-son bonding through shared activity – one that required the use of hands, fingers, voluntary movement…

we’d just been told it may NEVER happen.

That blow, it laid us low, but perhaps what hurt more was – WHY?  (Truth be told, I have a hard time even writing it now…because my viewpoint has changed on the matter.)

“Why do bad, undeserving, parents (another phrase that gives me chills) that don’t even want children get to have healthy babies?”  “Why me?”  “Why my baby?”

It’s one of the questions that might just cut you in two.  It’s one of the “whys” that can eat you inside out…and eat away any and all joy.  It’s a “why” that almost always comes with grief.  It’s a part of the process.  Despite all efforts to the contrary, it will be waiting for you at the starting gate to grief, a giant boulder forever in your way when you descend into the valley.

…and sometimes, years later, you look up and that taunting boulder is in your face again, demanding “why?”.

And the answer?  I don’t have it. I really don’t, nor will I ever…in this world.  The question is like a chronic illness.  You will have it your whole life long.

But there is medicine, and it does soothe.  And there is hope of “being well” and having the cure, on the day “when He will wipe away all of our tears.”

I hear the medicine here, in the turning point of Psalm 73, in verse 17:

Until I went into the sanctuary of God.

UNTIL.  This. This is WHERE it’s at…and too often it’s been a last resort for me.

and then later in v. 22

I was brutish and ignorant; I was like a beast toward you.

Who is fit to judge when they know 2% of the story?  I know I THINK I am, but…

This is the thing…we see things “in process” we don’t see the finished product, though we think we do.  We don’t see what He is working towards in all of us…and that why? – we have to lay it at his feet as Job did.  (Funny thing, there is rejoicing and peace that comes in the surrender of the WHY.)  And it’s not a one time deal.  The WHY comes again and again…and it won’t stop on this earth…this earth of rough-hewn mountains.  But the surrender is the battle worth fighting…and I think the psalmist had it right – in speaking to his father – in admitting his struggles, the blows, the pain of all around him, and in daring to enter the sanctuary, in daring to surrender the why so that he could get to these last words.

I honestly think that these beautiful last words couldn’t come without the heart-wrenching struggle of the first.

Yet I am always with you;
you hold me by my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will take me into glory.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.

27 Those who are far from you will perish;
you destroy all who are unfaithful to you.
28 But as for me, it is good to be near God.
I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge;
I will tell of all your deeds.

The rearranged beauty in this chapter, and the means of accomplishing it?  – it’s God’s business, so if you need more beauty, the surrender of “until” is the pathway.

31 days rearranged beauty

2 thoughts on “11: Why and Until

  1. Pingback: 16: Scott | a Rearranged Life

  2. Pingback: For Nicole | a Rearranged Life

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