Monday, April 19, 2010

Our Fears, Nightmares & God's Goodness

Today I'd like to share a meaningful post from a "blogger friend" of mine. When I asked her if I could use it, she wrote back, "I remember writing that post, sitting at the kitchen counter, sobbing. It wasn't until I started writing that I was able to process what God was teaching me. It was a genuine breakthrough for me in how I view God's love. Up until that point, I believed so strongly that God was in control, but struggled so much to trust that He was good--to believe that He cared about me (and my widowed friend) in a deeply personal way. It wasn't until I had that visual from parenting--of God protecting me from the real, eternal dangers, of rescuing me, not to avoid pain in this world, but to live forever in the next--that I came to a deeper place of faith in his unfailing love."

Her name is Joanne, and I think this will be something you'll share with many others. Also feel free to visit her blog any time. Click on MYLESTONES to link to it.

MYLESTONES: Faith  Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2009 "There Is Goodness And There Is More"

At 3 a.m., my son Caed cried out to me, terrified. He had dreamed he was lost, and upon waking, felt convinced an alligator was loose and lurking in his room. The next morning, we talked about his fears. Like a typical four year old, he was afraid of the outlandish and harmless imaginary things. And he remained naive about the real dangers, as a four year old should be, content to let his parents protect him from the fears he hadn't yet found.

At 7:30 a.m. yesterday, a soldier's wife answered her door, her freshly fatherless child in her arms, her worst fear awakened as she glimpsed the uniform behind the glass.

Several hours later and a few streets over, another woman opened her door to the same nightmare. She would have fallen to the floor, in the very gravity that brought her husband's helicopter down, but for the two small children leaning on her legs, locking their heels with hers, not yet burdened or broken from the knowing.

Nearly five years ago, my best friend answered that same horrifying door. She turned the knob just after her 11-week-old firstborn son had drifted off to sleep. She called us to come, and we wept every inch of the way to the hospital. It took weeks before my head stopped hurting from the crinkling of my brow and the trying not to cry at the office or the grocery store. I thought of my friend without her husband, of the precious little boy without his father, of my husband without his best friend, and I welled up with tears of helplessness and doubt.

The doubt was never about whether God was powerful or in control. It was always about whether He was good. So today, when I heard from my sister about these two friends in her church who lost their husbands in the same day, these families suddenly without fathers, I cried helplessly again about His goodness; and I wondered where it could possibly be.

But this is what I am learning. I am learning that our Heavenly Father protects us from the dangers that are real. He worries over the destruction of our souls, the separation from Him, the eternal dangers that so many of us ignore like naive little children.

But He does not protect us from the living of the bad dreams and from feeling we are lost. He whispers to us through our pain that there is a life beyond the present suffering. He sits silently with us in our anguish--in the nightmares so real and heavy and terrifying, the ones that we cannot escape or blink away. He reminds us that the seemingly endless grief is but a moment that will fade in the vast expanse of the Life to come.

He promises, There is Goodness. There is More. But it is not often in this suffering world that we find it.

Please pray for these two Ft. Drum families, these mothers and their young children, who lost their husbands and fathers yesterday in Iraq. Pray that their Heavenly Father will comfort them and hold them close when they wake up lost and terrified in the night.

Romans 8:38-39: "For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

For questions or comments please click on the comment line below and use the comment box that opens up. Click "Anonymous" for a convenient and easy identity. Then check back here daily for single living tips on Tuesday, a widow's story on Wednesday, resources on Thursday, a silly smile on Friday, and rest for your soul on Saturday. Hang on to this roller coaster ride through grief, my sister! With God, good things will ultimately happen. Ferree

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