So I have been writing this blog for 19 months now. 19 months of marking time. What’s the point? Why keep writing? Is it therapeutic? Does it make me feel better? Honestly…no. What makes me feel better is the ever deepening walk I have with God. This blog is a chronicle of that process. God did not turn my world upside down to torture me, He allowed this to happen for His reasons and I don’t know what those reasons are and I don’t need to know. Job put it well in the first chapter of the book that bears his name –
“18 While he was still speaking, yet another messenger came and said, “Your sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother’s house,
19 when suddenly a mighty wind swept in from the desert and struck the four corners of the house. It collapsed on them and they are dead, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”
20 At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship
21 and said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart.[c] The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.”
22 In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.”
Pam chose Proverbs 3:5-6 as the theme verse for this blog to declare her dependence on God’s trustworthy leadership in her life. She always had an unflinching trust in God’s providential care. Providential care? Providential care? Seems ironic given the tragic, premature end to her beautiful life. You may say that the fact of her passing proves that God can’t be trusted, He is not sovereign or He surely would have healed Pam or worse yet, He is cruel.
That is a logical conclusion when we focus on our happiness, pleasure and dreams instead of orienting our life’s devotion around God and His Word. The reason any of us draws breath is for the purpose of bringing glory to God.
9 His wife said to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!”
10 He replied, “You are talking like a foolish[b] woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.
God is good all the time and God can be trusted with everything! It is all about God and not us! Pam is, and always has been, God’s. He blessed me by sharing her with me for 25 years. He gave me 3 incredible children through her.
Everything I have said up to this point is truth. That doesn’t mean it is easy, enjoyable or fun as we see from the responses of both Job and Jesus to hardship. It is painful beyond human ability to explain.
Walking step by step through this level of hurt and pain brings more glory to God than all of the words the mouth can speak. There is an ever present darkness bidding me to give up. The darkness is a draw to self-absorbed pity. This darkness is, at its root, a call to lament the theft of an assumed entitlement to a happy life where God gives me what I want, what I deserve. Those who preach that God wants your life to be happy and blessed, that God is happiest when you are happy are preaching lies. The truth is that God desires that your life bring Him glory whether in ease or struggle. It is all about Him, not you and your comfort and pleasure.
Knowing the truth does not guarantee that I will choose correctly. As I have said in the past, the depth of the pain, sadness and hurt is reflective of the enormity of God’s blessing. I wouldn’t now have pain if God had not first blessed me beyond measure with Pam. If the blessing hadn’t been so amazing, the struggle with the loss wouldn’t be as hard.
So how are you doing Tom? You can see that the answer is complicated. Lately her absence has been magnified. Houston shipping to basic training, Aimee’s volleyball games without her cheering voice, moving Molli to Illinois and getting her set up in her apartment, Houston graduating from basic training, the first Ankeny church service in our new building, etc. In other words, life. Life without my best friend, confidant, partner…you know the list. Every moment that the darkness closes in and I choose to push back through the strength God provides, brings glory to my Heavenly Father. That is why I continue to write. God allowed this in my life for His reasons and I am sharing the experience with you to make sure He can use this trial for His glory.