I recently received an interesting comment. I actually received it about 2 weeks ago and just didn't know how I wanted to respond to it. At first I thought I would just ignore it, but it has been weighing heavily on my mind. And let me preface this by saying I have no idea if I am giving the "right" answer. I am sure there are Biblical scholars out there that could espouse eloquent and scripturally based commentary for hours on end. I am neither a Biblical scholar nor an eloquent writer. So here goes....
The comment: "My only concern with placing everything in God's hands as Ella implies is that if something does not work out as hoped the blame is on God and that is quite a burden to place on a young child. How does your religion handle this? How does a young child ever have trust again in God if something tragic happens and all the trust had been placed in God?"
My response (even now I am stumbling over my words):
The word that stood out to me most of all was trust. Although I absolutely teach my children to trust God, and they do, we choose instead to emphasize to our children to have faith in God.
"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." Hebrews 11:1
We are faithful to our belief that God will heal Lucy. We are certain that even if her healing were not to be on earth, it would be in heaven. Faith allows us to believe in a merciful God, a loving God and a forgiving God. A God who would never for one moment want us to suffer or experience hurt. But because we live in a fallen world, we are no longer immune to the trials of this life.
Ella has received Christ as her savior. In that very moment that she had her salvation experience, God changed her heart forever. As a person of faith she has been filled with an unexplainable peace that a relationship with God brings. As much as I hate to say this, it's the only way I know how to sum it up; Unless you have faith, unless you have experienced true salvation, you will never understand what faith means. Unless you believe that there is life after our time on earth and unless you trust that God has prepared a place in heaven for you, then you can't understand how another person can walk through fire with grace.
So, what if things don't turn out for Lucy the way we pray they will? What if we lost another loved one in our lifetime? What if we suffer loss on many other different levels? What if? What if? We choose not to live in the what if. We choose to live in the now. And if the what if happens, we will be renewed through our faith in God. He will restore our souls. He will make us new.
Will we hurt? Of course we will. I cant even imagine the hurt we would feel. When I think about what Justin's family is going through, I literally yell at God for them, beg God on their behalf and cry out for mercy to a God who promises to answer our prayers. And He will. When Justin's work on this earth is done, he will go home to his Father. Until then, we continue to pray. Because we have FAITH that God is working.
A child will learn to trust again just like an adult will. Time, prayer and more time. The relationship that is made at the time of salvation is the purest relationship one can ever enter. While a Christian mourns, experiences anger, questions God and searches for meaning in their despair, God will never turn His back.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
When I was 8, a little girl that was as close as family passed away in a tragic accident. I will never claim to know what her family felt and I can say without a doubt that they still mourn the loss of their daughter. I truly grieve for them now in a way that I could never have were it not for this experience with Lucy. But as a child, my understanding of her death was much more innocent than it is now. I remember a close family friend explaining to us that she had passed away and explained that God needed another angel in heaven. My faith was not shaken as an 8 year old, although I mourned in the way that an 8 year old is capable. More so, my faith was renewed by the example that was set by the Christian adults in my life. Those that did not lash out at God. Those that chose to turn to God in prayer and seek His help in understanding.
I pray that if our family is ever faced with this situation, Erik and I would set an example of Faith for Ella and Jack.
So, that's my answer. It might not be a good one, but's its all I have. My friend Kristie wrote this on her Caring Bridge site and when I read it I was humbled and ashamed of the fear and anguish I have experienced over Justin's situation. This woman is a mighty example of what it means to be a Christian. Could you imagine going through this situation without faith and trust in God? The testimony that Kristie will have will be immeasurable in human terms.
"Battles are fought and won in many different ways. Just because my child is going to heaven does not mean he lost by any means. If anything, he has gained. " Kristie T.