With all of the madness that has come our way this summer, I guess I have been given to reflect a bit more than normal. As you know, I worry...excessively. If anything, I think this week made me feel protected by God, rather than angry at him. No gun-wielding idiot came into my store and harmed us. Instead he just did some damage and took money while we were safely sleeping in our beds. I will take that any day of the week. God protected us.
As that tree fell, for no good reason--maybe the roots dried out from the years of drought, not sure, but no obvious reason why it fell. And no reason (other than God's providence) that it fell when, where and how it did. On any other given day, and at any other given time, Brandon, me, and the kids would have been right where that tree landed. It crushed the kids play climber and pool that you have seen countless pictures of them enjoying. It also crushed the 2 plastic chairs where Brandon and I sit watching them. Why weren't we outside? It rained hard for about 10 minutes. And then stopped, and then rained for another 10 minutes, just hard enough to discourage Brandon from mowing the yard, and hard enough for me to realize that playing in the back yard was out of the question for the evening, unless I wanted mud all over my newly cleaned floors. So we were inside.
The tree landed on the roof of the playroom where the kids were playing, but fortunately it was about 2 feet too short to do major damage to the roof, and possibly come crashing through onto our children.
Thankfully we were protected. I am 150% grateful for that, and relieved. I thank God for taking care of us. As I look at this week, I feel like I should then move forward without fear. God will protect my children. Relax. We are safe. But the truth is, God doesn't always intervene and I don't really believe that we can even measure His intervention on our behalf and somehow equate it with His level of love for us.
I am not sure why God chooses to intervene or not to intervene in many life and death, and even mundane issues. I know that He hears his children pray. I know He cares. And yet, I don't understand, and so I continue to struggle. From a parental perspective I cannot think of an instance with my children, where bodily, emotional, mental harm would be heading their way, and I would choose not to intervene. Now, in small circumstances, that do not have lasting consequences, I do understand. Take for example our trip to the beach last year. Daredevil Kyan had no fear of the ocean, despite the roar and the crashing waves. He would go running away from us, heading right toward the surf. Being good parents, we would scoop him up in the nick of time, but he would fight us, trying to squirm free of our tight grasp. After seemingly endless fighting with him, I decided to let a wave crash over his head--without letting go of him--simply to show him that the ocean waves were not all fun and games. I figured the salt-water singeing his little nostrils might cause enough of an aversion to provide healthy fear of the ocean. Alas, my little object lesson did not work, but you get the point. Kids need to fall down. They need to learn about natural consequences. I get that. But why, when a precious child has cancer, Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa, or even Autism, doesn't God ALWAYS intervene? No doubt, He saw this beast LONG before it came down the pipe, and yet....Nothing. As a parent, I just can't understand. God intervened for my children this week, but He might not next time, and there is nothing I can do to change that.
If I saw a car about to hit my child, you better believe I would throw my body in front of it in an attempt to protect them. That doesn't make me special. It makes me just like each one of you reading this blog. Heck, most of us would do it for someone else's child. Not even a blood relative. We cherish children. We see their vulnerability, and as older, stronger adults, we feel compelled by something deep inside us to protect them. It is reflex as much as it is intentional. We just act on their behalf because of the value we place in their little lives; the promise we believe lies within their little beings. We do all within our power to protect our children. We read books & manuals, watch shows, take classes, talk to friends, relatives and even complete strangers about parenting, health, educational and every other possible issues that apply to our children. We exhaust all options. Leave no stones unturned. Usually we turn them and turn them in search for hope, help...answers. And we are imperfect sinners, who are without a doubt selfish to our core. Yet, we do all of these things in name of loving our children.
God is none of those things, AND is all powerful. He loves us unconditionally. He is capable of being everywhere all the time. Omnipotent and Omnipresent, and yet...very often He sits back, and allows the cancer to ravage His child. And for what gain? The child suffers. The family agonizes and struggles. Some do not survive the battle. And for what? Most of us, who are believers in Christ, and even some who aren't, are quick to point out the positives of such painful situations--other people will be saved from suffering due to heightened awareness, people will come to know Christ, we value life more, friendships have grown, etc. etc. And maybe that is us trusting that God works all things together for good, for them that love Him, but sometimes it feels like we are simply explaining away this important question that most of us wrestle with. WHY doesn't God ALWAYS prevent suffering, at least for the small ones?
And how are we to rest easy knowing that God is in control, while also knowing that that fact does not mean we won't suffer immeasurable pain, suffering and harm? And yet, this is the same God whose 'eye is on the sparrow'. It is such a conflicting image for me, and one I literally struggle with daily as I feebly attempt to entrust the safety and well being of my precious babies with God. I apologize if this post is rambling. I wish that I had drawn some sort of conclusion that I could leave you with--a sense of finality that could wrap this subject up in a neat package, but I just haven't. Maybe I will get there one day, but I highly suspect this to be something I battle with until the end of my days. Just a guess. And who'd have thought all of this came from a burglary at my store, and tree falling on my house?