Friday, February 13, 2009

Mysterious Darkness

When my brothers, sisters, and I came home from elementary school on December 19, 1986, my mom greeted us at the door with serious news.  Jennifer Rand, a 16-year-old girl from our church, had been instantly killed in a snow-tubing accident at her Christian academy.  As the information settled into my mind, images of Jennifer babysitting us, playing her flute at church, and joyfully helping our mom dust and clean cascaded through my head.  Jennifer was part of the fabric of the 100-member church of which my dad was pastor.  Unlike some of the other teens, she evidenced a vibrant love for God that displayed itself in her sweet smile, tender kindness, and love for others. Why her?  I couldn't understand.  Why?

As I headed to the barn to help with chores that night, I did not feel the cold winter wind that fingered its way through my clothing.  I barely noticed the animals I was feeding.  Numbly, I poured water into troughs and placed grain in feeders; all the while a word resounded through my mind:  "Why?"  I'd always read of this sort of thing happening to others, but to me?

Time and again on my eternal journey, lingering questions of "Why?" have reverberated in the recesses of my mind.  Seemingly unfair situations--a faithful church member suffering from debilitating cancer, a dear Christian couple who has never been able to bear children--remain in mysterious darkness.  But this morning I read, "Clouds and darkness are round about [Jehovah]:  righteousness and judgment are the habitation of His throne" (Psalm 97:2).

On rainy days, when the weather is bleak, the sun is hidden behind copious clouds, and a mood of melancholy seems lingering in the air, let us consider the clouds and darkness that surround our God.  Mysterious obscurity hides reasons for many of His almighty deeds.  Doctrines are cloaked in a shroud of darkness:  for example, no man can fully comprehend the Trinity. Likewise are His ways an enigma, "past finding out."

Yet while we struggle to perceive the reasons behind the Almighty's actions, we may rest contentedly in the realization that "righteousness and judgment are the habitation of His throne."  No matter how unfair His deeds may now appear to our finite gaze, we can shed such sight and embrace eternal verity:  Jehovah reigns as righteous Judge.  Some tomorrow, punishment will be meted out.  Some year in the future, faith's clarity will distinguish God's infinite fairness.

1 comment:

Sonya said...

Hello Heather... I find myself asking why, but only find answers in God's word. Strangely the answers are not plain, but there is a confidence in peace only God gives and in our hope. Your thoughtful concluding paragraph is reassuring. I enjoyed your reflection... you write beautifully.