Friday, March 19, 2010

Mystery v. Absurdity

In his book, "God in the Dark," Os Guiness describes what it means to trust in God through pain.

“Christians do not say, 'I do not understand you at all, but I trust you anyway.' Rather we say, 'I do not understand you in this situation, but I understand why I trust you anyway. Therefore I can trust that you understand even though I don’t.'

If we do not know why we trust God in the beginning, then we will always need to know exactly what God is doing in order to trust him. Failing to grasp that, we may not be able to continue trusting him, for anything we do not understand may count decisively against what we are able to trust.

If, on the other hand, we do know why we trust God, we will be able to trust him in situations where we do not understand what he is doing. It may be mystery to us, but mystery is only inscrutable; what would be insufferable is absurdity. Faith does not know why in terms of the immediate, but it knows why it trusts God who knows why in terms of the ultimate.” Os Guinness, God in the Dark.

Micah's death is a mystery, but not an absurity. We must suffer through our remaining lifetime not having the answer as to why. But we can trust God with the fact that there is a reason why He called Micah home so soon. Micah did not die without purpose; he did not die in absurdity.

While we currently don't know why God allowed Micah to die, we trust God because He has shown us that He is worthy of our trust. "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28. Time and again in our own lives, we can look back and see how God's hand was in the midst of our trials. Time and again in scripture, we see how God demonstrated his faithfulness to those who loved him.

Among the many stories of redemption in the book of Genesis is the story of Joseph. As a boy, Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers, who were jealous of the special attention that Joseph's father paid to him. After some significant "ups and downs" in his life, Joseph eventually became the most powerful leader in the nation of Egpypt outside of the Pharaoh himself. Many years later, when Joseph's brothers came to Egypt looking for food in the midst of a famine in their own land, Joseph was able to save his brothers. As Joseph told his brothers in Egypt, "You meant [selling me into slavery] for evil, but God meant it for good.

In this regard, the Cross of Christ is the ultimate display of God accomplishing a great ultimate objective through great suffering. No one can accuse God of handing out "the bitter pill" to others without swallowing the same bitter pill himself. In the cross, we see that Jesus, the son, and God, the Father, taste the bitter pill of death and separation. While I didn't allow my son to die, God the Father did allow His Son to die. Jesus showed us that no one can go lower than God Himself did when he sent his own son to die on the cross. As Guiness stated, "None of us can sink so low that God has not gone lower still."

God accomplished salvation through the suffering and death of his Son on the cross. His great ulimate objective was accomplished. While His purposes for Micah are still a mystery to me, we grieve the death of our son in the hope that God's purposes were in fact accomplished through Micah's little life.


  1. Every post I read of this blog is such a testament to the Lord and to your faith in Him! Even though I don't comment after most posts, I read everyone of them and mourn with you. You are daily in our prayers and we trust the Lords goodness will be displayed over and over.

  2. praying for you both this are in our thoughts!

    ~~~The Carey's