Posted by: myroadtoemmaus | August 25, 2007

“who do you say that i am?”

It is nearing midnight as I write this. From our apartment, I can see the faint lights of downtown Kansas City. The sky is rarely dark here and I find myself reminiscing about the beauty and solitude of living out in Ivy this past year. Here, I am reminded of how I am just one of millions in this world and yet on a night like this, I am soberly aware of how I feel so completely alone.I am grieving, as many of you are, over the death of little Jude Gilliam. I didn’t know the Gilliam family and yet a knot has positioned itself within my stomach ever since I read the news this afternoon on the website that Jude had passed. I felt like I had been punched directly in the stomach for to me, it was a crisis of faith. And here in Kansas City, one thousand miles away from everyone we know, I am forced to wrestle this out alone with God.

It would be far easier to trust in a God who desires good but who is restrained from interacting with His creation. And yet, I have found it exceedingly more difficult to believe in a God who can heal- who can break into our world from that side of eternity in order to touch a child and restore him to life- and who doesn’t. To watch a child die while believing in a God who can heal is perplexing. It is far worse than perplexing. It is paralyzing.

To me, the formula was just right. Jude had Bible-believing parents who worshipped and interceded day and night. He had a God whose desire is for none to perish. He had thousands of eyes across the globe watching, waiting, and hoping for God to perform a miracle.

The sting of death in the natural is not the same as the sting of death in the spiritual. There is no sting in the spiritual for Jude is sitting with His savior at the right hand of His King. Who could possibly argue that there is anything better for him than being where he is right now. But for us- here on this Earth- the sting that results from death is sometimes unbearable. I know this all too well. And yet Paul says in his first letter to the church of Corinth: Stand firm. Let nothing move you. And continue to give yourself fully to the work of the Lord.

And what is the “work of the Lord”? John says that the work of God is this: to believe in the one [the Lord] has sent (John 6:29).

And so I will continue to believe, as so many others are, that the sovereign God is a good God, a powerful God, a God of miracles, a God who hears the prayers of His children, and a God who delights to answer those very prayers.

Even as I am typing, the lyrics of a Jason Upton song are ringing in my ears:
“In the place of suffering, there’s a God worth worshipping
and on these wings of worship, we will fly.”

I am missing a church family to process this tragedy with. Yet I am grateful for this time to be by myself, forced to dig deep as I struggle to reconcile what happened today, forced to choose for myself if I believe that God is who He says He is and that He can do what He says He can do.

Russell and I have sensed a hedge of protection around us this week and are so grateful for prayers that you all have lifted up. We love our apartment- we are learning our way around this city- and we are excited for classes to start on Monday. Thank you for your support- for your love and for your prayers… We miss you already.

 

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