This morning I got the sad news that my friends, Natasha and Mikail’s youngest child was accidentally killed. Mikail is a fourth generation pastor whose father and grandfather had been pastors under communism in Eastern Europe. His brother is also a pastor, so this is a family full of faith and many years of serving the Lord.
Of course my first reaction was sorrow. It’s just unimaginable that such a thing could happen. Then I struggled with the question: why did this happen? Of course, God could have stopped it from happening, so why didn’t He?
When I couldn’t find a reason for God’s letting this happen, I admitted to God: “I’m having a crisis of faith.”
And that’s when something wonderful happened. I can’t tell you what because I don’t know what it was, myself. But little by little, I found myself convinced once again of God’s great goodness and love for us.
Many times when tragedy strikes, we tend to blame God, even rage against Him. I did. Years ago when both my sisters-in-law lost their babies, I raged against God. After the death of the second baby I read in the newspaper that three women in New York City had thrown their babies out the window. At the time, I was pretty far from God, not having ever found a good, Bible-believing church in the city where I lived. Plus, my husband had announced one day that he didn’t believe in God any more. So when I read that, I thought about how much my sisters-in-law had wanted babies, and how people like those New York women seem to breed like bacteria. So I decided that either God was lazy or God didn’t exist; and not willing to live with the idea of a lazy God, I became an atheist.
God let me have my temper tantrum. For eight years I lived as an atheist, and all the while, God protected me in inconspicuous ways. Then God showed up again in my life and invited me back. I hadn’t been looking for Him, but He left the 99 other sheep and came looking for me.
That’s when I realized that God doesn’t react in anger to our anger. Like a loving father with an angry two-year-old, He let me rage and pout and turn my back on Him. And when my anger was spent, He gently invited me back.
“Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool,” (Isaiah 1:18 NKJV, emphasis mine).
So yesterday, when I honestly admitted my crisis of faith, He gave me some kind of faith injection. Don’t be afraid to be honest with God when you’re struggling. If you’re honest with Him, He will help you through whatever you’re going through. And I have no doubt that He is helping Natasha and Mikail and their children to work through this terrible loss. Even when tragedy strikes, God is good!