So here are my latest ponderings and conclusions…
Losing the Jakester has brought up some questions when it comes to truths that I believe or thought I believed or do believe, but it looks different than what I thought. =)
Interestingly enough, what brought up one of my ponderings, was a Jehovah’s witness who knocked on my door and presented me with a little pamphlet with several questions and answers. One addressed the question of where God is when bad things happen. She used a hypothetical example of a baby dying and people saying that it was God’s will and maybe he just needed another angel. (Ironic, I know!) She proceeded to tell me that something like that is not God’s will. I just smiled and nodded, but the wheels started turning. I guess I started just really thinking about the difference among God’s plan, God’s will and God’s omniscience. Then, like the next day, I was talking with a friend who experienced the loss of a good friend in Afghanistan a few years ago. When she was describing the events leading up to his death, it seemed evident that it wasn’t just random chance that he was killed. After much discussion, we came up with some conclusions.
These were things I was thinking about maybe a month or so ago. Then I was talking with another friend and she mentioned things happening for a reason, which is something I typically tend to say or think too, “everything happens for a reason.” However, that doesn’t quite sound right if you think about there being a “reason” for your baby dying. I mean, mostly because that sounds like God made it happen. It turns out there is a big difference between “caused” and “allowed.”
So here's my new philosophy:
Now, I don’t for a second think that God killed this man in Afghanistan or planned for Jacob to be born in such a way that couldn’t sustain life. I do believe that God wants the best for His people and wants them to be whole and healthy and happy. I believe that He is sad when we hurt. So were those things supposed to happen? God could have healed, he could have intervened, but for whatever reason, he didn’t. Since he knew that these things would happen, he worked them out to fall into place with other future (and past?) things. So, I guess these tragic incidents are in the plan, but I don’t think they were planned…if that makes any sense whatsoever. It’s kind of like Judas betraying Jesus. God didn’t plan for him to or cause him to betray him, but since he knew that he would, he orchestrated things beforehand to work out that way. (This all makes more sense in my head than when I try to explain it.) So to recap, God could've healed Jacob, but didn't. For whatever reason, Jacob was made the way he was and God allowed that. Having known that this would happen all along, God orchestrated other events that he knew would also happen to make all of this craziness fit together somehow. So there will be good things that come out of it, but God didn't like need Jacob to die to work other things out (for a "reason").
So this leads me into my next pondering…prayer. Another friend (who also lost her baby this summer, which is how we became friends) and I were talking the other night. We were discussing prayer and wondering if there is really any point to it. Now, throughout the pregnancy with Jacob I read lots of scripture dealing with prayer. So I do believe that God wants us to pray and to present our requests to Him and to even be persistent. So I do continue to pray, yet I can’t help but wonder if it really matters b/c whatever is going to happen is going to happen regardless if I pray about it or don’t pray about it, right? I.e.: a mother, a father, a family, a church family, a community, strangers pray their hearts out for a good prognosis, for a miracle…to no avail. Now I know that God can’t just answer every prayer with a yes. I know that all of those prayers brought all of those people in closer communion with God. I felt the power of those prayers as God lavished His peace on us. However, those prayers did not change the outcome of what was to happen. So in writing this and processing it more as I write, I guess I am seeing that prayer is maybe not so much about the end result, but about the relationship and the meeting with God. And I guess another question is presented, which is, can/do/have prayers ever “changed God’s mind?” I think there are a couple examples in the Bible of God acting (or not acting) based on the pleas of his people, but for the most part it just seems like it’s already all mapped out, so brings me to the original question: What’s the point? …which I already answered earlier..b/c God wants us to and it brings us in closer communion with Him. I could drive myself crazy!!! Despite my lack of a clear cut answer, I will obey and I will continue to pray, don’t worry. =) I just thought I’d share some randomness that I’ve been thinking about lately.
…And we are doing just fine. Still miss the boy, still sad from time to time, but doing well…