"Where is God?" my friend asked.
I'll never forget this moment. I was standing in my closet while one of my dearest friends told me her husband was leaving. He has decided their marriage has "run it's course" and he's moving out. Leaving his adoring wife and four small children in the wake of his selfishness.
My friend, we'll call Melinda, has been married 12 years. She has four precious children. She has shown her husband the kind of unconditional love that many people will never know in their lifetime. She is the quintessential homemaker. Melinda makes home cooked meals, sews, bakes, keeps an extremely clean home, and feeds her family organic food. She is thrifty in a super cool kind of way, and watches all of her pennies. Melinda is not only an amazing wife, she's probably better at this wife-ing thing than I am. In fact, if I were one of those sister-wife kind of cult members, I'd totally make her wife #2. I think the world of Melinda.
But yesterday when she told me that her husband had sat the kids down to break the news, I cried. "Where is God?" she asked. "Why didn't he answer my prayers? This isn't fair!"
As I stood there, staring at the wall, I asked the same thing. "God! Help me! I have no words! She needs to know where you are! Help me help her!" And yet, my tongue was still. I had no answer. All I could do was sit down on the floor and cry with her. My heart ached while I wondered, how do I show my friend that God is still there in the midst of our deepest suffering?
I felt God stirring in me. BE STILL, Kim. You don't have to have words for everything.
I have allowed this question to stir in my mind for a day now. I've thought of Melinda and her children, and even her lost husband, and prayed. I've wondered why God didn't change his heart. Why didn't He open her husband's eyes? Why didn't he place someone in this man's path that could speak the truth to him in love?
Tonight I was brought back to a song by Lauren Daigle. I was singing along without thinking at first, but then I really listened to the song when I heard this:
When You don’t move the mountains I’m needing You to move
When You don’t part the waters I wish I could walk through
When You don’t give the answers as I cry out to You
I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You!
You are my strength and comfort
You are my steady hand
You are my firm foundation; the rock on which I stand
Your ways are always higher
Your plans are always good
There’s not a place where I’ll go, You’ve not already stood
And that's when I realized. I won't have all the answers to why bad things happen to good people on this side of heaven. But I can trust that when God says He's gone before me, before my friend Melinda, He has already paved the way. There are no surprises here to Him. He knew my friend would feel this pain. He knew her kids would be devastated. But HE promises to make beauty from ashes. HE promises to show her the unconditional love that she has given away but not received. HE promises that her pain is not forgotten, not without use, and not permanent. HE will give her new blessings. HE will give her new hope. And HE will surround her with just the right people at just the right time. All we have to do is trust. Trust that He is who He says He is and He will do what He says He will do, as Beth Moore once said.
I believe firmly that God protects the orphans and widows, as He says in the Bible. But I also think the single mamas are in there, too. And I have a HUGE heart for those single mamas.
I would covet your prayers for Melinda. For her 4 children. And especially for her husband, who has lost his way. It is never too late to right a wrong. Will you believe with me?