On a Tuesday morning in May, I sobbed as I drove to work. And we’re not talking little sniffles. We’re talking real sobs. I was an emotional wreck, plain and simple.
My heart was breaking, my soul was churning, and my mind was full of unanswered questions.
The night before, a close childhood friend gave birth to a healthy baby boy. I spent hours at the hospital cuddling that beautiful baby boy and counting tiny fingers and toes. I was still on a high from smelling that sweet baby smell that makes all of us wanna-be-mamas out there crazy giddy. Thinking back on that precious few hours the night before, I should have been joyful, exuberant even. But I was devastated.
I knew in a matter of hours another one of my very best friends would endure a procedure to help her body recover from a miscarriage. She and her husband found out only four days earlier that the child she carried in her womb no longer had a heartbeat. They were in the midst of a raging war of emotions. They were heartbroken. They had doubts and questions. Their spirits were crushed.
The juxtaposition of life and death was just too much for me.
One friend rejoiced over the birth of her second child. Another friend was crushed by the loss of a child she had so desperately prayed for. I could not come to grips with it all. One minute I was praising the Lord for the healthy delivery of a new “nephew,” and the next minute I was banging my fist against the steering wheel, gritting my teeth, and spewing hot tears all over the place.
In a moment of anger, I lashed out at God.
I told him I was angry. I started questioning him. How could he allow such an unspeakable thing happen to my friend? It didn’t seem right, and it certainly wasn’t fair.
Then I experienced the most surreal thing that has ever happened to me.
I literally heard a voice say: “You don’t question me in the good times. Who are you to question me in times of hardship and trial?” Was it just any voice? No. It was His voice. The voice of my Savior. The brief encounter was harsh yet gentle. There was no booming thunder or flashing lights.
There was only that still, small voice calling me to repentance.
Oh, the sting of chastisement from the Lord. The tears came again. This time, I was ashamed. I had questioned the very character of my God. How small I had made my Lord in those few moments of questioning – how very, very small.
Never have I ever stopped to question Him in those “mountaintop” good times.
Never have I been given a blessing and stopped to say “Really, Lord? Why would you do this to me?” No. Every time I felt Him move in my life and reaped the blessings of His overwhelming love for me, I praised Him. Yet here I was questioning his character in hard times.
Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
Not “Be still and know that I am God in the good times.”
Not “Be still and know that I am God when you’re happy.”
He simply says, “Be still, and know that I am God.”
When the world falls out from under our feet, when our trials seem to outnumber our triumphs, when nothing makes sense anymore – Be still, and remember that God is God.
Sometimes I think we forget that God is who He says He is.
He is Jehovah-Jireh, God will Provide.
He is Jehovah-Rapha, God our Healer.
He is Jehovah-Shammah, The Lord is There.
He is Jehovah-Rohi, The Lord my Shepherd.
He is Jehovah-Shalom, God is Peace.
He is El Shaddai, The Almighty.
He is Adonai, the Ruler of All.
He is Yahweh, Jehovah.
He is Abba Father.
God’s character doesn’t change… even when our circumstances do.
He is who he says He is. He is God.
*Photo credit: me and the sysop