Sunday, August 13, 2017

Is There Really A Reason for Widowhood?

(Reposted from 2015, but well-worth a second reading. Also the video is fantastic! If you subscribe to this blog and can't access it in the email, try looking it up on your computer instead of by cell phone. Read the comments too, and chime in. I love to hear from you!)

Why did tragedy strike? What's the reason for suffering? What's God up to in this situation? These classic questions blurt out from each of us going through trials.

One time in a church group discusson about pain and suffering, someone asked me point blank about why my first husband died.... They wanted to know if his death brought other people to come to the Lord and be saved and born again....? What was the reason and justification?, they asked, because obviously, in their mind, there had to be a reason?

Here's what I told them: "There's no reason my husband had to die so others would turn to Christ. God could have worked some other way for them to get saved rather than having my kids grow up without their dad."

Yea, life is brutal! But what I said was true---God has an infinite number of ways to draw a person to Himself. The God of the Bible is Almighty and Holy, Faithful and Good! He does not kill off one person so another can be saved, that's ridiculous. God will use these awful things for good, but this person's question revealed a warped view of God.

Another time my husband, Tom, and I were in a Bible study where the leader arrogantly had it all figured out. He knew God's plan. There was a reason for everything, he told us. We needed stronger faith. We should pray more, work harder, give more, repent of the personal sin that was obviously causing our suffering.

Tom and I remained silent. Tom was widowed the same year I was and we met and married two years later. There wasn't time to begin to question or correct this guy. But we talked about it afterwards. Is there really a reason?

Yes, Tom wisely said. The reason we suffer is this: we live in a fallen, imperfect world. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers ... (Romans 8:22a NASB) The whole creation! That includes all of humanity. Me. And you. I know you've groaned and suffered...

The other day a friend called me from her home near the West Coast. We are like dopplegangers ---like we're living the same life, but on opposite coasts. We talked, and laughed and cried together about all our matching aches and pains. We're just a mess! We groan and suffer for no reason at all except one: we need a Savior! We need Him every day, in every way. He alone can save us from our sin, ourselves, our circumstances. We pictured our lives as helpless lumps of clay, dirt, and pain at the foot of The Cross. We live in a fallen world and we need Him!

That reason calmed me; it eased the fretting and the nagging questions. How about you? Do you look for reasons that could justify your suffering? Anything that can serve as payback for what you've been through?  A million dollar settlement? A new husband? Happiness? A new purpose for you? Knowing that he was a hero, perhaps? Knowing he's in a better place?

Those things can provide fleeting comfort, but not a satisfying reason.

Bottom line-- the reason for suffering?---We need Him. The self-help gurus, the fairy-tale endings, the follow-your-heart philosophies? They are side tracks and dead ends on this journey. Join me on the path to The Cross where we can all collapse and admit it---We need Him.

The amazing thing is that God doesn't leave us grovelling in our need. He doesn't merely observe and take notes from a distance. He responds, He loves, He rushes in...
Matthew 11:28
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Come to the Lord today...He loves you so much!

Dear God,
I come to you today because I realize that ...
I can't carry this burden any longer. The emotional roller coaster of shock, anger, despair and this fallen world is too much. Forgive me, Lord, I need Your forgiveness because I fall short of handling this. I need You! I surrender my ways to You. I give them up, I repent. You love me! Forever!
You sent Jesus to bear me and my sins on that cross--yes, I believe! I come to You, please come to me. Show me how to rest in You and find peace as I follow and love You. Thank you for saving me, for loving me, Lord.


  1. This is a great encouraging post.

    Thank you ~ FlowerLady

  2. I have read in some of the many books I have read about grief and loss that God determines the number of our days. Is this not what you have learned? Of course I so wish that He would have determined many more days for my husband as all widows must.

  3. There is nothing quite like suffering to teach us our need for the Lord.

  4. Thank you for your comments today, Flower Lady, Anon, and Sharon VW. They mean a lot to me! And Anonymous, I'd agree with you---the thought that God determines the number of our days is still extremely comforting to me. He ordained the days of our lives---Psalm 139:16; we are destined/appointed to die once---Heb. 9:27; and Job 14:5 says it exactly----A person’s days are determined;
    you have decreed the number of his months
    and have set limits he cannot exceed.(NIV)

  5. Thank you for your post Ferree. Reminds me how much I have needed God's love in my suffering over the past three years and how much he has supplied for me.

  6. Our minds are so finite (limited) to the comprehending and understanding the majesty of his ways and the movements of His intentions. He reminds me from time to time.... "ya don't gotta figure it out" "ya don't gotta understand" because if ya did then it wouldn' be faith and ya wouldn't need a Savior. He just says "trust me"

    Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not to your own understanding.
    Prov. 3:5

  7. I, too, found comfort in leaning on the fact that our days are pre-determined. I don't believe that God sent a truck to hit my husband.... I do believe that He is using this experience to shape me (if I'm willing). I try to focus on what I'm being called to learn, for example, a new level and understanding of forgiveness. A choice to become bitter or better. Will I extend a hand to someone else and say, "I understand"? Will I participate in the refining process? Proverbs 3:5 says it perfectly - trust. It certainly is a journey of trust and surrendering to unanswered questions.

  8. Good message for me to read today, today marks 24 months and one day since my husband Terry when to heaven. Praying this morning, I had no words, just asked for God's help. I agree with stillmissLynda, God is using this experience to shape me as well. Some days it's easy to focus on God's will for my life other days it's a bit harder. I struggle being me without Terry. Still I trust in God.


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