What sort of world do we live in, where seemingly perfect new born babies die from hidden birth defects? What sort of God allows such suffering and heart break? We wondered this intensely then. And when wondering and searching brought forth no answers, we were frustrated, and angry, and turned our backs on God, who we imagined could not, or would not help us and our baby.
When our grief lessened in intensity and our anger waned, a tiny opening was made for Christs love and His peace to enter our lives. And we were immediately comforted. Life was never been the same. We have been changed and for the better and we see our loss and our grief with new eyes.
At the time, we felt abandoned by God. We had made it up in our minds that God had either decided against helping Everett, or that he couldn't help him, and we were lost and angry and in the midst of despair so deep we couldn't see clearly.
And then one day it cleared. And, I can only speak for myself, but I felt driven to find our more about God and His love and comfort and mercy. And as soon as I was receptive to it, I had it. Comfort after months of agony.
We found a great church with a fabulous community and jumped in with both feet and open hearts and the blessings just kept coming.
The pain is still there, and it flares up from time to time, especially at this time of year, but His comfort quickly follows. Because we know this:
31 For men are not cast off
by the Lord forever.
32 Though he brings grief, he will show compassion,
so great is his unfailing love.
or grief to the children of men.
He does not willingly bring affliction or grief to the children of men.
He didn't do it.
He didn't want it.
He didn't allow it.
And though we won't ever really and truly understand why, the Bible offers up this explanation...
2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.
THIS happened, so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.
In Everett's life.
Everett was born with a heart so afflicted it could not be healed by all of our amazing technology, so that God's work could be displayed through his life.
He died so that the good of God could be demonstrated through his life.
Everett's 20 day life, and our heart break, happened so that something God could be done or achieved in God's name.
So, does this then mean that grief is to be my ministry?
I'm living in a perpetual state of grief over Everett and what should have been. It waxes and wanes but the pain is always there. And it happened to him, and to us, so that we could demonstrate God's good works through our experience? If this is true, which I don't doubt it is, then I have a job to do. Everett has done all he can and the rest is up to us. To show the world that it has worked for our good, that comfort came with the pain and that good has followed the bad, and the God has been at work in this.
An interesting ministry indeed.