Just a few days ago, Robert and I got word that a friend of ours had taken his own life. And our Sunday school lesson this morning seemed to hit right on the pain and anger I’ve been feeling.
I don’t know all of the specifics of the incident or why he felt like that was his only option. What I do know though, is the pain that is left in the aftermath of his death. He left behind a young wife and their two young children. And my heart breaks for them. He left behind many, many friends who were like family and who loved him very much. This is a terrible tragedy that really has had me upset about God’s sovereignty. It’s one of those times where I’ve just wanted to cry out, “God, if you could’ve stopped this…why didn’t you?” But I know it’s not my place to question God (although I still do it quite often).
Through this, I have watched my husband and some of our closest friends experience pain and sadness that just seems so unnecessary. It’s a reminder that we live in a fallen world and of just how desperately we all need Jesus.
I’ve been talking with a few close friends about the things I’ve been feeling regarding the situation. I feel guilty for not loving him and his family enough and not sharing the love of Christ with them. I feel confused about why I’m hurting so much about it when I didn’t know him very well, my husband is the one who was close to him. I feel angry that this had to happen.
But I have had some wonderful, Godly friends pour many words of wisdom into my life about God’s sovereignty and love for us. One sweet friend pointed me to Psalm 56:8 – You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book. That same friend also reminded me that God has a plan for us all. God’s plan is for good. My friend’s suicide was not a part of His plan; however He was not surprised by it. He knew it would happen and His heart is breaking right along with mine. God is not emotionless, He hurts when we hurt. He doesn’t like to see His children living in such pain and chaos.
Another friend reminded that all I can do is trust God and be light and salt to those around me who are hurting, that maybe God is going to use this situation to bring everyone involved closer to Him.
Then one of the main take away points of this morning’s Sunday school lesson was that God is still sovereign and use all human action for His purpose.
Humans do stupid things, we are sinful by nature. And yet, God can still take all of those evil things that we do and use them for good, to glorify Him. Now THAT is a powerful God.
I reminded this morning of child-like faith. In discussing this lesson with my 5th and 6th grade class, their child-like innocence and adoration of God blew me away. Their simple faith and trust in Him was a gentle reminder of just how good He is.
Romans 8:28 – And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.
Ephesians 1:11 – Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan.
I can already see how God is using this great tragedy for His glory. The pain is still there, and it will take time for it to heal. But this is one wound that I’m not going to let fester. I am giving it over to God and letting Him show me what to do with the pain and allowing Him to heal me. It will all work out for His glory, whether I can see that or not.