Scripture Motto

"Let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father." Matthew 5:16

Saturday, October 6, 2012

“What” instead of “Why”




Your beauty and love chase after me every day of my life.
I’m back home in the house of
God for the rest of my life.” Psalm 23:6 msg

Sue’s story
I met Sue at our church Christmas program rehearsal a few years ago. God drew us together as we both arrived at the same time in the parking lot an hour early. We chit chatted we as walked into the building and to our dressing rooms to get ready. Then, she began opening up to me about her life and her family.

Her face changed expressions several times as she told her story. First, Sue’s eyes danced with delight as she shared the chronicles of her relationship with Roger. He was her “knight in shining armor,” rescuing her from the pain of an emotionally abusive marriage and difficult divorce of a few years earlier.

She and Roger, both in their late forties and divorced with children, developed a friendship that blossomed into a seven-year dating relationship. They rebuilt their individual spiritual lives by attending Divorce Care classes, as well as women’s conferences for her and men’s gatherings for him. As their personal faith in God strengthened, their focus turned to finding God’s tools for marriage. They attended couples classes at church and marriage seminars. Their involvement with the church drew them closer to God and one another.
 
Finally, the big day came to join them in holy matrimony. As all brides should, Sue beamed with joy as she recalled that special day. Like most couples, they immediately set out to build their new home—literally.

Soon after moving into an older house, Roger, a cabinetmaker, began tearing up the bathroom to remodel it around their cherished claw foot bathtub. At the same time, he began construction on his new 30’x40’ workshop. That is when he fell and broke his leg, but it became so much more.

Sorrow and tears welled in her eyes as she told me how the break exposed the cancer growing in his body for almost 40 years!  Resentment and bitterness filled her face. The test results revealed the most unexpected find. Written on the paper were the ugliest words: “exposure to agent orange in Vietnam.” Their lives came to a screeching halt. All of their hopes, their dreams, their plans were interrupted.   

Sue’s voice grew with anger as she shared with me how it upsets her when people say, “It was God’s plan for this to happen. You know ‘that all things work together for good…’  Why were our plans disrupted?” she wanted to know. “For seven years we planned!!  Why did God take him?!”

Several Christmas’ have come and gone since Roger went home to be with his Lord. Within those years Sue turned for comfort through Grief Counseling groups. Her faith remains, but she still struggles getting through each day, especially the days of Christmas. Each one is hard, but she admits, “They’re getting better.”  She still doesn’t understand “Why it was God’s plan to take her knight in shining armor”, but she trusts that He has a purpose.

I really didn’t know what to say to her, but I could tell she was ready to move past the mourning. I suggested she ask “what” instead of “why.”  We talked about how “why” questions seek answers so we can understand, when God just wants us to trust Him and ask “what” questions. Questions like, “what do you want me to learn from this?” or “what do you want me to do with my life now?

We hugged and set out to sing and dance for the Christmas program.

His love chases after her
I talked to her six months after our Devine appointment and found her living less in the “why” and pressing forward into “what”. Sue returned to the purpose God had shown her years before by sharing her time and talents with the children of the parents attending Divorce Care classes and teaching crafts at nursing homes.

Her face lit up. “Your beauty and love chase after me every day of my life. I'm back home in the house of God for the rest of my life” flowed from her smiling lips.

As God’s beauty and love chase her every day, her faith in Jesus does not waver.

Re-purpose
Sometimes even in our faithfulness to God, life throws us unexpected curve balls and we don’t know what to do with them. Finding our assigned purpose or ways to re-purpose our lives can seem difficult and scary. I’ve know some people intentionally avoid seeking their purpose; others struggle to believe God will use their experiences for His good. 

I hope you'll let God's beauty and love chase you wherever you are and in  whatever you're going through.


[To help you, I recommend Rick Warren's “Purpose Driven Life,” and Bruce Wilkinson's “The Prayer of Jabez” and “The Dream Giver.” And here are some verses that might help you leave “why” in the past and press toward “what” - 2 Corinthians 1:3-7;  James 1:2-6;  1 Peter 1:6-9;  Job (All or Chapters 1, 2, & 42)]