Is it okay to question God? Is it okay to wonder, what in the world is He thinking? I do not know if it is okay, but I do know most of us do question and wonder at times. Of course, we normally say, “Hey wait a minute God,” when His plan does not correlate closely with ours.
You know what I mean. You found the man or woman of your dreams, and you are ready to make a life with him or her. Visions of a house, kids and growing old together run through your dreams and day dreams.
You prayed about it, you sought wise counsel and you are ready to pop the question. Suddenly, out of the blue, your entire fantasy world comes crashing down for one reason or another. You look up at the heavens and say, “Why!” “Why did you do this to me?”
The traditional and “wise” responses to such an outcry are simple. “He did not do it to you. He did it for you.” “It was just not the right time for you. Trust in His plan.” If you are anything like me, there have been times when you want to scream, “What plan?”
For many at my church, 2012 started off with a couple of those moments. We lost two members of our congregation in a period of four days. One passing was not that unexpected, but the other was so unexpected it left many of the congregation in a daze. And, it left our pastor doing his best to explain these were not random acts, but acts of divine will.
Two souls went to be with Christ between January 2, 2012 and January 5, 2012. One was ninety-three and the other was fifty-one. One felt she had lived much longer than her allotted years, and she was ready to go Home. The other felt he was doing God’s work, and was looking forward to many years of mission trips and praising God through his profession, medicine, and his passion, music. Both were called Home before the new year made it out of the starting blocks.
The manner of their physical passing are not important. Suffice it to say she did not go quickly or quietly in some ways, yet he went very quickly and likely with little if any pain. Her family and other loved ones watched her body die over a period of several days in seeming distress. He left home for an outing, and never made it back.
The bewilderment comes when trying to understand why God would take these two people as He did. She had been expecting to end her worldly existence for years. Not so many years ago she awoke in the hospital one day and was upset that she was seeing her husband’s face and not the face of Christ.
He may have been ready to be called Home. His faith was strong. Still, it is certain he was already making plans for his next mission trip, and looking forward to January 3 when he would return to the work he loved.
As human beings, we are left to wonder. Why did God keep one alive long after she was ready to go, and why did He take the other in the prime of life?
I do not know the answer to those questions. If I did, I would not be writing this piece. I could make some conjectures. In fact, I participated in those kinds of discussions with other mourners. We were asking each other why this way. Why was one family put through days of watching their loved one die a little at a time, and the other was barely given time to say farewell?
The real answer to the questions we have is that God chose to take these two for His reasons. Whether He purposefully reached out and called these souls home, or he simply allowed the physical world to bring their earthly lives to an end, He does have a plan. The passing of these two saints is part of that plan.
We are tasked with moving forward. We are tasked with remembering them and celebrating their liberation. We are tasked with letting His plan work in our lives and not let our human curiosity and shortsightedness rob us of the lessons we can learn from this small part of our spiritual journey.
© S. E. Jackson – 2011