Yesterday marked the third year since my lovely 18-year-old cousin Anja died.
I saw this picture of her on Facebook, and my already-low spirits plummeted. How can death be God’s will?
When faced with death and pain, so many people piously fold their hands and gaze heavenward and say, “Thy will be done!” as if it really is God’s will!
Do you think God wants people to die while they are young and full of promise? Do you think he likes to see parents weep as their hearts lie in shards on the ground? Do you think he wants to stop the good work being done on earth by sweet, beautiful people?
And God likes pain, too, you think? He likes that kids on my street don’t have parents who care for them properly, kids who run around hungry and dirty and godless? He likes to see adults and children with mental illness feel estranged from Him? He approves of abusers smiling in their church pews while their victims grope for a lost identity?
If you think that death and pain are God’s will, you make Satan laugh because he knows you aren’t going to fight.
I believe that death is no more God’s will than sin is God’s will.
And yet, why doesn’t God fix things more quickly? If He has no pleasure in death, which the book of Ezekiel repeatedly says, why doesn’t he save us now?
This morning I went to church feeling angry, tired, and confused. But as I sat in silence, I felt the calming presence of the Holy Spirit. Then I rose to accept the bread and wine, and heard Jesus’s words:
this is My body, broken for you.
this is My blood, shed for you.
I knelt at the altar, held out my pain, and cried as I received the promise:
Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.
Revelation 21:3-4 (ESV)
Someday, because of Christ’s sacrifice, there will be no more death, no more pain, no more tears, only life forever with Him.
My writing is not always as morbid as it has been lately, I promise. Look for a happy post coming on Friday!
4 thoughts on “of death and pain”
Maybe I’m not following your thought here but I don’t think I agree with you on death. Personally, I don’t think God views death on this earth like we do. I think to God, death on this earth is not ‘death’, it’s just a gateway to eternal life. The second death and the lake of fire where there is no more hope is definitely not God’s plan but as Christians I believe an earthly death is really one of the most merciful gifts God has given us!
I understand what you mean…when sick or in terrible pain or overwhelming grief, death does seem like a mercy. But if I understand the Bible correctly, death was not part of God’s original plan but entered the world through sin. Romans 5:12 says, “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned”. Sin and death are tied together throughout scripture, and that includes both physical and spiritual death for all of humanity.
However, the beauty of God’s power is that He can redeem, He can use something as ugly as death as a “gateway to eternal life” through the sacrifice of His Son. That gives me hope!
Rosina, this is so good. My childhood was lived among people who believed that God’s will for our family was the death of my father, a grieving, pregnant widow, and four fatherless girls. It was very confusing. Years later, I came to understand what you wrote: that death entered the world because of sin; it was not part of God’s original plan. I feel intensely frustrated when I hear people define”God’s will’ by whatever is happening to me/others right now (the good and the bad). I believe that God’s will for the world is for people to fellowship with Him and that is so much bigger than whatever is happening to me at the moment. And yes, someday He will redeem all of the pain and we will experience His love and mercy fully.
BTW, I think your last 3 posts have been some of the best. And it’s really okay to express the morbidness. God bless you!
Rachel, I just had to read your comment again. Thank you for reminding us that God’s will is for us to fellowship with Him!