One of the problems we have, so very often, is understanding God’s timing. Or why he sometimes says yes and often says no. But here’s the thing: I have a handful of broken pieces with pretty sharp edges. I really want God to fix the thing that broke (if not stop it from breaking in the first place), or, at the very least, polish off some of those edges so I can carry them more easily. That’s what I want. That’s what would make my life easier, more pleasant.
And God can do that. He can absolutely keep my life from falling to pieces. He can absolutely pick up those pieces and put them all back together. He can also see the pieces of everyone else, and the pieces that are going to be added to the pile tomorrow and next year. He can see a pattern I can’t even dream of, and he knows how they will all best fit together.
I didn’t want to lose my unborn daughter. I don’t believe God wanted me to, either. I do believe he had a plan for her, but I don’t believe it was dying before she ever saw my face. I believe I had a broken body that failed her, and, despite the perfect best plan for her being life, he allowed her to pass. Because the perfect best plan for all of us was to live in creation as it began. We haven’t been on the perfect best plan for a very long time.
Was I angry that she died? I could have been. I understand people who are. Why did he allow this to happen? So what if he didn’t make it happen, he allowed it to happen! Why didn’t he step in? Why can’t he just come down and explain himself so I’ll understand? So I’ll feel better? Oh yeah, I totally get it, that anger, and I think it’s natural. Job was angry, and he wasn’t exactly condemned for it, though it was answered. It was something he had to work through.
What we have to come to, eventually, in our own time, is that God is the master of the mosaic. He takes these pieces and rearranges them into something beautiful, something so beautiful we might call it perfect if we didn’t know all the breaking that went into it.
Every time I talk about our loss, someone breathes just a little easier. Someone else shares their story, relieved they can talk about a topic so difficult it’s almost become taboo. We’ve all been touched by it, but we all feel constrained by society to keep things…positive. My loss has become part of my ministry, a way I connect to others, loosen their bonds just a little. And, honestly, I think someday it may be even more than that, or maybe it already is more than I can see.
When God made the promise to Abram that turned Canaan into the ‘promised land,’ it was with a caveat: it will all be yours…eventually. Right now, it belongs to them. They still have a chance to grow, a chance to seek redemption. I happen to know they won’t take it, but I won’t remove the choice from them. Their iniquity, their disobedience, is not yet complete. I won’t punish them now just because I happen to know that in four generations they’ll deserve it.
We have a habit of asking for things according to our needs. Nothing wrong with that. We just need to remember that God is the God of everyone, and he considers the needs of everyone. Our lives are constantly intersecting with others, and sometimes we have to wait on pieces we don’t even realize are missing.