...I was driving Manuel over to the Brown's to spend the night (the Browns
had a period of temporary insanity and volunteered to have the kids spend the night
so Dani and I could have an evening to ourselves - which was wonderful!), anyway,
on this perfect, sunny summer day, we drove past Preston-Schilling just as a young couple
was arriving for a funeral, and I couldn't help but think that in a couple of weeks
it could be me they were coming to see.
That thought gave me a chill.
When that possibility first became real to me I couldn't help but wonder what that
might mean for me; in other words, what I might see when I closed my eyes for the
last time. My theology told me that because I believed Jesus had died for my sins,
I was already sealed by the Spirit, as if the packing slip had already been attached to my
soul, "Special Delivery - Heaven." But then, I know how I have lived my life, all
the times I must have disappointed God, all the wasted opportunities, and I struggle
with the idea that God could really love me.
But he does.
I guess that is the wonder of it all. God truly LOVES me. He sees in me something
I don't, something he cherishes. Something he was willing to die for to keep.
And so if I do die, it will be because God has decided he would rather have me with
him in heaven. If I should live, it will be because, for now, I can better serve
and please him here. I kind of would like the chance to make amends for my past
But what I have come to see is this.
Nothing happens that isn't God's will.
I used to think stuff just happened. There is evil in the world, and some of that
stuff is bad. And evil, being what it is, inflicts itself on those who don't deserve
it. Evil isn't fair. If it were fair, it wouldn't be evil! Evil cheats. It doesn't
follow the rules.
I used to get real annoyed when someone would say in the face of some tragedy, like
a small child getting hit by a car and killed, "It was God's will." Usually the
speaker was some white-haired saint of an old lady.
Now I see the old lady was right.
Not in the sense that God willed that child to run into the street, but that for reasons
we may never know, it was truly the better thing. And in his perfect love, and perfect
wisdom, he allowed it to happen. If not, he would have prevented it. He would have delayed the car by a minute or two, or kept the ball from rolling away... somehow
he would have prevented it.
If that is not so, if stuff really DOES just happen, then you have to throw out the
Bible. Time and time again in the Bible God promises to watch out for us. He promises
to be our protector, to be our rock, to be our shelter in the time of storm. If
stuff just happens, and God can't, or doesn't allow himself, to interfere, then those
promises are empty.
But if God is watching over us, how come bad stuff still happens?
I don't know.
Other to say that God has his reasons. It can't be that he wasn't paying attention
that moment, or that he doesn't care sometimes. God is all knowing, his love for
us is perfect. Whatever happens happens out of that perfect love, I just have to
trust in that.