God's Will and Your Worst Nightmare
“Nicklaus Reed Ward, 22, of Fayetteville, Georgia, passed away March 4, 2013 at Savannah Memorial Medical Center as a result of injuries he sustained when he was struck by a car while walking in Statesboro, Georgia on February 8th.”
As a parent, nothing compares. No pain comes even close. Just listening to the story...the phone call, the I.C.U., the prayer, the ventilator, the neurosurgeon, the waiting, the stark reality...and then the wake and the memorial service.
“It wasn’t an accident; it was a mistake.” Someone made a mistake and a son is no longer here. Square this up with God’s will.
God is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent. He knows everything; He has power over everything and He is everywhere. Nothing is hidden from Him. If it happened, it was God’s will. His sovereign will. Agathon said, “Even God can’t change the past.” He was right.
God is also good. All good. He sent His only son into a fallen world to redeem it and us. He wouldn’t have done it if He wasn’t good, loving, and merciful. He could have left us to our sin, to our evil ways, and to death. Over time--over the long run--we will see and understand how God used this pain and loss for good and for His glory.
But that’s then. What about now?
Peace can be found only in the merging of our will into God’s will. It’s a little like turning onto the "on-ramp" to the expressway. We can’t see where His will is going, but it’s going. All we know is we’ve been thrust onto a ramp that’s taking us into His will…whether we like it or not. There is no going back.
As we move along the ramp, we see His will is going in a certain direction. We can slam on the brakes. Or run amuck trying to cross the median. We can fight, resist and crash into everyone and everything around us, hurting ourselves and others. We can wear ourselves out, becoming angry experts in the blame game. We can grow bitter and sick, scratching and clawing and cursing and thrashing around.
Or we can breathe, gently submit, and merge our will with His. We can choose to flow into it instead of fighting it. If we can gradually accelerate and get up to the same speed He’s moving, we can merge our will safely into His. We won’t know where He’s taking us. We’re missing someone who was always in the car with us. But we’re moving forward, trusting our Heavenly Father’s love for us. Trusting that He will redeem all of this somehow…someday. And knowing that someday we’ll understand why such painful things had to be endured.
The "expressway" of God’s will has already taken this mom and dad to the bedside of a young lady who lies in a coma similar to their late son's. They’ve prayed with her family and shared their faith in God’s goodness and love. He’s already leveraging their experience to help others.
I once sat with Bob Buford, the author of Halftime. He and I are the same age. We both have sons named Ross. His son made a mistake that cost him his life at age 25. Bob says, “Regi, there’s one big difference between you and me. I’m looking forward to heaven a lot more than you are, ‘cause I’ve got a lot of catching up to do with my son.” Bob’s faith in God got him through. And gives him hope for the future.
Bad things happen to good people, even God’s people. When they do, God is all we have. But when you’ve been through your worst nightmare and found that God is all you have, from there you may find He’s all you need.
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