Hardly a day goes by now that I don’t speak with or hear from someone who has lost a loved one through death.
I suppose that they believe I will have answers for them because it has happened to our family. I do know that I listen more and say less to people when they tell me their story.
Some time ago, I was asked if I would address a few young teens who were in great pain after the tragic and sudden death of a family they all knew. As it turned out, about 20 of them crowded into our prayer room at the church where I pastor and I shared a few things I had learned.
Then I asked them to speak up with their questions. It wasn’t long before one of them asked the question that is asked perhaps more than any other when a loved one is taken from us unexpectedly: Why?
That, of course, is a very hard question to answer. I’m not so sure that we would be satisfied if God were to give us the answer.
Let me share something that my son Jonathan wrote on this question:
“I know, in my life, that the Lord has used my brother Christopher’s departure to heaven to bring me to Him. Would I have chosen this way for the Lord to get my attention? Absolutely not, but I stopped asking why a long time ago.
“I think it’s ok to ask, ‘Why, God?’ as long as we don’t expect an answer. Instead, I began asking ‘What, God? What am I to do as a result of this?’ And I have found the best answer is to commit myself wholly to Him, and to help further His kingdom.
“I know that’s what Christopher would want me to do, and I know that’s what the Lord would also want.”
Summary: When we lose a loved on through death, the inevitable question we ask is, “Why?” But if God gave us the answer to that question, would it really be enough to alleviate our grief?
Out of their long and painful journey has come a really helpful survival guide, so to speak. It’s a book called Suffer Strong: How to Survive Anything by Redefining Everything. It’s not just an inspiring story of triumph through trials but a how-to book for accepting God’s plan and recognizing His providence even when it feels like your world is shattered.