Why Ask Why When With Is Enough

By | 9:34 PM Leave a Comment
When Zoe was really sick with Chickungunya in Haiti last Summer there wasn't much that comforted her. She didn't want to eat, didn't want to drink, didn't want to watch her beloved Peppa Pig, didn't even want a popsicle...her favorite treat.

There was one thing, and one thing alone, that she wanted...

Me. (or Jeremiah)

If we could lay next to her, place a hand on her back or tummy, or lay with her flat across our stomach she would be comforted. If we left her for any amount of time (heaven forbid we take a potty break) she'd cry and cry. And cry.

My presence didn't take away or shorten her pain.
My presence didn't tell her why she was in pain.
My presence didn't cover up the pain.

My being with her simply calmed her, soothed her, comforted her.

Back in Jeremiah's seminary days he spent a lot of time studying the "Problem of Evil." Or in laymans terms the why-do-bad-things-happen line of questioning that everyone wrestles with at some point or time. I remember spending many a night in deep discussion...

I do believe there are answers to these questions. I do. (We can talk in person if you'd really like some of those answers.)

But now that I have a decade of real life and experiences separating the Seminary me and the right now me, I can honestly write that the answers don't matter as much. The power isn't in the answers. The comfort isn't in the answers.

No answers, no tears, no words, no hugs could offer me comfort on the day we learned that our baby girl had died. But knowing (deeper in my knower than I had ever known before) that He was with me was the balm to my broken heart.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:4

Then there was the day I found Djouna crying behind the palm tree the week before Christmas. Crying because she missed a Momma she didn't even know. I held her and cried with her and offered her the only comfort I could: the promise that is held in the precious name given to the baby Jesus, Immanuel, God with us. A God who would never leave Djouna or forsake her.

Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you. Deut 31:6

And then, just this week, we hear the news of the devastation in Nepal, the riots in Baltimore, and on a much more personal level, the news of the death of our friend Philimone in Haiti.

Thousands dead in a natural disaster.

A city divided by race and destroyed by ugliness.

One loving and hardworking husband and father of three dead due to the ravages of a cancer that was easily treatable here in the US.

My heart breaks. But it doesn't break as one who has no hope.

I won't offer answers. But I can offer the comfort of a Savior who doesn't stand on the peripheral, but is right there smack.dab.in.the.center.with.them. With me. With you.

And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age. Matthew 28:20b

And just like when my Zoe is sick and wants nothing but what my presence offers her.

His presence doesn't take away or shorten the pain.
His presence doesn't tell me the reason for the pain.
His presence doesn't cover up the pain.

But, I promise you, knowing He is with you will be enough.

Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9

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