In those first few days, weeks, and months (and even on a rare occasion, now), I’ve asked this question. There’s been many variants of it, but it remains largely the same question: Why would you take him? Why would you take my husband when all of my friends have their’s? I know so many people with messed up marriages, why would you take my husband? There are so many fathers that don’t spend time with their children; why would you take one who invested so heavily in his? I would rock my barely one-year-old baby boy at night and just sob, asking God why he would allow this special guy to grow up without ever personally knowing the love of his daddy. I would wake up in the night and think about my daughter walking down the aisle without her dad there to escort her and standing there as my kids graduated from high school or at the birth of their children…all without their dad, and I would scream and cry and ask God, “Why???”
I think it’s human nature to ask this question. It’s normal to wrestle with God about why, but Satan wants us to stay fixated on it. He wants us to keep dwelling on the why so that we start to question God’s goodness or his love for us. The more we ask “why”, the more we focus on our circumstance rather than on the one who alone can help us. Instead of asking why, ask God to help you to see him while you’re in the valley. Ask him to help you trust him. Ask him to help you walk this uncertain, unwanted road with grace. Every time you are tempted to ask why, remind yourself of the truths we have in Scripture. God will never leave you or forsake you. He won’t forsake your children either. He is not against you, and he still has a plan for you. If you doubt that, remember stories in the Bible. Things looked hopelessly grim for Joseph. Sold into slavery by his own brothers and then imprisoned in a foreign country for a crime he didn’t commit, he spent years wallowing in a nasty dungeon. But God had a plan for him. He didn’t know it all those years he was in prison, but God would set him in a place of power where he could save his family. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego didn’t know that God was going to save them from the furnace. It sure looked like they were about to be burned alive. But God had a plan for them and for a worldly king to glorify the only true God. Sweet friend, your life may feel hopeless to you right now. Know that God still has a plan for you. I don’t know what it looks like and neither do you, but you can trust that he will bring you out of the pit and he will still use you. He’s not finished with you yet; things are going to get better. They aren’t what you’d planned, but he will help you navigate this new chapter of your life.
God will use this tragedy to teach you some valuable lessons. Jennifer Rothschild, who went blind as a teenager, said some days we just have to remind ourselves that heaven is long and earth is short. Losing half your heart will teach you to long for eternity rather than being satisfied by the things of this world. God will also help you to learn to abide in him, even when life hurts. The Lord also wants us to learn to wait on him and to keep serving him and fighting for joy even when we don’t know how it all turns out.
A dear, fellow homeschool mom shared with us this week that the Jews have a saying they use in the midst of suffering and grief: “It’s for my greatest good.” Oh, girl. That’s a loaded statement. Losing a piece of our heart and seeing our children suffer the loss of their dad sure doesn’t seem good or feel good. But according to Romans 8:28, he will work all things, even the terrible ones, for our good and his glory. We can remind ourselves that death wasn’t a bad outcome for our husbands. It just moved them into eternal glory with our Lord and Savior. However, living without them sure can be tough, but God will ultimately work even this out for our good. It makes us more like our Savior who was accustomed to grief and suffering in this world. It moves us a little closer to his heart when we have known true pain and loss. We can rest in the One who works all things out always for the greatest good.