I had a conversation today with a man who lost his wife recently at only 46 years of age.
That is young in our day.
She often struggled with migraines but who could have known that there was an aneurism present that would take her life?
Many people have aches and pains of various kinds and migraines are fairly common, so because MRI’s are expensive and insurance hard to deal with, far too often, we just live with the issues.
One can imagine the second guessing this husband struggles with because we have all been there to one degree or another.
My concern in my prayers for him is the guilt that he will be tempted to heap upon himself over something that neither he nor his wife could have foreseen.
It is the “if only I had known” syndrome.
I have been there myself.
I can remember a time when we bought a fixer upper house that had pigeons roosting on it.
I loved the house, we prayed about it and lo and behold, if the seller didn’t accept our very low price!
We shooed pigeons away and began renovations.
We didn’t worry too much about one that was in a cage in the room that would become our daughters’. We just turned him loose and let him fly.
In less than a year of living there, our daughter contracted viral encephalitis and it almost took her life.
Did the pigeon issue cause this? Lead paint maybe, from the walls? Anything at all that we had stirred up in that over 100 year old home?
Oh the guilt that I heaped upon myself for wanting that house!
What a bad mother I was!
Then, if I couldn’t blame myself, I wondered about my sovereign God who knows all things?
Why didn’t He prevent us from this house rather than provide for it?
Of course, the doctors said there was no way of knowing how our daughter contracted the illness, but I went down the lane and back trying to figure it out.
Who is guilty here, Lord? Me or you?
Somebody, somewhere had to have screwed up!
If I had to wager on whether it was a perfect, loving God or imperfect me, guess who I landed on?
As time went on, I began to see the reality of my thinking.
I was treating myself as if I had sinned and was paying the price for it.
When I asked myself whether or not I would have bought that house if I knew it would possibly make my child seriously ill, I knew the answer was “no”. Of course not!
I would have lived in a shack for the rest of my life rather than sign on for that.
Did God answer our prayers and graciously give us that house?
Did He know that this trial would come our way?
Does He love us?
Did He get us through to the other side?
Did He answer all of my “why did this happen?” questions?
He just carried and led my family and I in the faithful way that He promised He would in so many, many scriptures.
There are deliberate choices that we make in life to do wrong, to sin and for those, we need to confess to our graciously forgiving God.
There are other circumstances in this life that are a result of our humanity, God’s sovereignty and a million unanswered questions that will remain this side of eternity.
May God give us the wisdom to own what is ours, let go of what is not and to find the ‘release’ button on the guilt trap.