Ok, now that I have got your attention with this title, allow me to explain something that I have been pondering for quite some time.
There have been just too many times that I have asked God the question “why” in terms of my little girl being taken to Heaven so early in her life. My question of “why” will continue for the rest of my life here on earth and I really am not expecting any answer. But, the fact is, that my human heart will always still ask “why” because I just can’t understand it and it hurts so much. It will always hurt…and it will always beg the answer.
But, here is something that God has been showing me lately. Death can’t be personalized. Asking the question of “why” in general is one thing, but I don’t generalize my question, I personalize it. My question of “why” is always attached to a name…”Susana.” So, the question hasn’t merely been “why?”, but rather, “Why Susana?” And now, I want you to follow my faulted logic when I try to answer that question…or even just try to understand the question. For the purpose of trying to make an illustration, an illustration that I think we all need to come to terms with, I will put this question into dialogue between God and myself as it has been so often.
Me: Lord Jesus, why did you have to take MY little girl from me?
God: Why not? Should I have chosen the little girl down the street instead?
Me: No Lord. I wouldn’t wish this pain and suffering on anybody. So I understand that I can’t personalize or differentiate between my 4 year old princess and somebody else’s 4 year old princess.
Me: But God, why then children? Why do such young children have to suffer and die? Why do families need to suffer the loss of having their precious little child taken from them?
God: Well, at what age then should the cutoff be? Should it be okay for the 45 year old Dad to suffer and then have the family and children suffer from his absence? Should death just visit those kind of families?
Me: No, Lord. That is not okay either. That too would cause such great pain and suffering. So, suffering and death should not just be limited to the Mom’s and Dad’s while the children are exempt.
Me: But God, why then not just the elderly? I mean, they have lived a full life. Shouldn’t death just be something normal and acceptable for them and those whom they leave behind?
God: Does it seem normal and okay for your neighbor and friend who just lost her elderly Mother? Even though she had lived a full life, does it look like those whom she left behind are just fine? Do your neighbor’s tears not fall just like your own?
Me: Okay Lord. You are so right. Then, if death shouldn’t be for the little children, nor for the middle aged Mom or Dad, and not even for the elderly, then why death period? Death is just plain unnatural for anybody at any age. It does not make sense. It does not sit well with any of us. So, why death at all? Why not life forever?
God: Ah my child, those are my thoughts exactly…
Me: (feeling goosebumps as I begin to see what the Lord is showing me)
God: Death is not personalized. It has come because of sin. Period. But child, I HAVE OVERCOME DEATH! You say, “Then why not life?” And Life is exactly what I have provided. I have paid the sentence of death with my own blood. And I have personally purchased life for all of my children. Death is not natural. You are right to feel the way you do about it. Your neighbor is right just as well, for you were not made for death. You were made to live forever…and you shall. I have personally provided the way for you. Trust in me. Trust in my promise. Trust in my Word. And you shall never die!
Me: (stunned and without words)
And so this is what I have come to see. I can’t personalize the death of my daughter. I can’t say with logic, “Why Susana?” Because as I might be saying, “Why Susana, and not somebody else?”, the Father down the street is crying just as loud, “God, why my child, and not somebody else’s down the street?” You see how there is no logic in taking death personal. The reason is because death is not normal to ANYBODY, not to the family that just lost their child to cancer, not to the family that just lost their Dad in a firefight, and not to the family that just lost their Grandmother to mere old age. It just is not normal for anyone personally.
So, all that we can really cry out is, “God, why death period?” And then this is when the Gospel (good news) comes to life, literally. The Gospel says death has come to all of us (without personalization) because of sin, but that Jesus personally paid the price of our sins. He was put to death so that we would never have to experience eternal death. And He rose from the dead. He overcame the power of the grave! He defeated death! And He has promised that those who trust in Him completely will also rise to live, and not die.
If these seem like mere words to you, then you don’t understand. And I would plead with you to get on your face before God and cry out to Him. Ask Him to show you how your sins have caused death, but how His sacrifice on the cross has undone the power of sin and has purchased life forever. Ask Him to reveal this to you. This is the life changing power of the Gospel!
Yes, for a time, I still feel the painful effects of death, not that my daughter is dead, for she is more alive than I have ever been. But rather the separation from her is what is really the pain of death that I refer to. And while we are still living in this body that has not yet been fully redeemed from the curse of sin and death, as well as living on the earth that has also yet to experience its complete redemption, we suffer for but a time. We see death all around us in so many ways…and none of it feels natural. That is when we know that we were not made for this. And so, we press on. We trust in the promises of God for eternal life. We eagerly await the day when we will experience the fulness of our redemption. We live in this temporary tent of perishable skin, but we know that we will be raised up to be imperishable! And we hold fast to the hope we profess no matter how personal death has seemed to become to us because we know that even more personal is the life that we have been given in the Son. – Cody
For if, by the trespass of one man (Adam), death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ! (Rom. 5:17)