It had been a lazy Saturday morning; the grandkids spent the night and we were just chilling as we watched the Disney Channel. My phone rang and I saw that it was my friend Kandie. I figured she was calling to let me know they were taking her husband, Brad back for his surgery, but when I answered the phone she was sobbing.
“Brad isn’t going to make it through the weekend,” she cried.
I was stunned, earlier they had said he would have surgery at 1, what in the world had changed. All I said to her though was I am on my way.
I called my daughter to come for the kids, I called my husband to let him know and I headed out to the hospital.
The shock had worn off and I was literally yelling at God.
“What are you doing?” I cried. “Why in the world would you take a man that doesn’t know any other way than to be bold and loud for Jesus? A man that tells high school football players he is worried for their souls and introduces them to Jesus. Why would you do this?”
I would lament God’s plan in this particular circumstance. Then I would get really quiet and say, “but you can change this, I know you can!”
I yelled and cried and pleaded and yelled some more the whole way to the hospital. Sadly, God chose not to heal the cancer that ravaged Brads body for just 10 weeks. I can tell you that I still question God about this today, not as often nor as passionately, but I still have questions.
“And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” Mark 9:23-24
Kandie reminds me often that Brad’s healing came when he entered his eternity in heaven. She tells me so many stories of those young men that are taking Brad’s bold and loud ministry to other young men. What an incredible legacy of love and Jesus he left the world.
So while I know in my head God has used Brad’s death for so much good, I still ask Him why. Why now, why Brad, why, why, why!
I am so thankful that God can handle my questions, my yelling and my lack of faith. I didn’t lack faith in God, but I did lack faith in where He was at this time. Was He really with Kandie and the boys, offering comfort and peace? I sure didn’t feel like He was.
Do you ever lack faith that God is hearing you, or that He is with you?
“Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrongdoing? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and conflict abounds.” Habakkuk 1:3
Habakkuk sure felt that way. He was calling out to God, asking why He was silent in the this time of distress. Asking where are you Lord?
I love the book of Habakkuk. I think it’s because I identify with him so much. He likes to ask questions. He’s not afraid to show frustration that his perception of God’s silence was making things worse in Judah. He boldly asked why was God not reacting to the perverted justice by those who were corrupting God’s law. (Habakkuk 1:4) God was un-phased by his question and boldness and while He didn’t answer the why, He did share the plan that clearly stated even worse things were coming to Judah. The shocking revelation that the Babylonians would be raised up left Habakkuk with even more questions and he asked how a holy and pure God could allow Babylon to add to the current evil. (Habakkuk 1:6-8)
God answered with this promise;
“See the enemy is puffed up; his desires are not upright – but the righteous person will live by his faithfulness.” Habakkuk 2:4
Habakkuk didn’t get the answer to all of his questions and he is nervous about what is to come, but he does trust God, his lack of faith has been restored and he is able to praise God, even in uncertainty.
This is a great lesson for me, maybe I don't need to know all the answers. I just need to rest in His sovereignty, knowing that He's got this.
God isn’t afraid of our questions; He isn’t worried when we stumble in our faith. Our God is too big for that. I, for one, am so thankful that He hears my cries, my questions and even my lack of faith and continues to call me His. Like Habakkuk, when I find myself unsure of the answer or even if I get an answer that frightens me, God offers hope in that darkness, even if I stumble as I am finding it.