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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Your Dying Spouse 293 - God Didn't Make You Sick!

"God is allowing your husband to die slowly in front of your eyes for a reason."

The person who says that to a caregiving wife is liable to need some caregiving him-or-herself, caregiving of the post-oral-surgery kind. Well, at least if said caregiving wife is anything like mine.

(Yes, this is something I've talked about before. But please bear with me - this is written through the lens of vastly-increased pain and some other stuff I'll forbear to describe, except to say that it was unexpected, and really bad for morale.)

But the question does remain...what kind of God would allow this? And to what end?

There are those who would say that He allows it - or, worse, sends it - so that one will 'lean into him'.

In other words, they are having God say, "Here, see how awful life can be? And I am your only refuge!"

That's something abusers do to bind their victims to them, and I don't believe for a moment that we serve a God like that.

The supposition goes that the victim of the adversity - such a sterile word - will learn something of life and faith. However...

On March 19, 1945, the aircraft carrier USS FRANKLIN was struck by a single Japanese bomb. Its flight and hanger decks were crowded with fueled and armed aircraft, and it lit off in n inferno that cannot be imagined by anyone who wasn't there. Aeroplanes melted, and men were cooked.

In one anecdote, historian Joseph Springer (in his masterful book Inferno) describes an officer who was suddenly faced by a sailor he knew - and who was on fire from head to feet.

The sailor pleaded with the officer to shoot him; while the officer drew his sidearm, he couldn't shoot...and the sailor, in desperation, threw himself into the sea, and died.

How long did the man burn, and what possible lessons could he have learned before taking the only option he had?

What kind of God would do this?


I don't believe for a moment that God sends the pain, or that He 'allows' it, in the manner that He could divert it but chooses not to.

He allows it because it's a necessary part of a world in which free will is a necessity. We have been made in His image, and that includes the capacity for independent thinking - and we have to be free to choose Him.

And that, by inference, has to allow for randomness in the world we inhabit - free will in nature and circumstance.

By either opening us to specific misfortune or by protecting us from the same, God would be negating His own plan. He made us with free will because he didn't want to spend eternity with a bunch of wind-up toys - and that would be exactly what He would get if He showed us that our free will was essentially meaningless, because He suspended free will in nature.

So He can't spare us without wrecking His own paradigm - but He can do all He is able to help us through. He can show us small things, signs that will strengthen our faith.

A long time ago I prayed - this is gonna sound stupid - for something red to appear on the ground as a sign that God's looking out for me. You don't often see bright red in the New Mexico high desert.

And yet...every day, something's there. Something red.

He's in control. His idea of control may be different to my idea (HEAL ME!")

But He's in control nonetheless, and I'm OK with that.

We're linked with Messy Marriage's From Messes To Messages - please visit for some great marriage resources!

A bit of news..."Blessed Are The Pure Of Heart" has come home! Tate Publishing has gone south, and I regained the rights, so it'll soon be available in both Kindle hardcopy versions once again. In the meantime, if you absolutely can't wait (!), you can still get used copies from Amazon.

I have another blog, "Starting The Day With Grace". The focus is a grace quote from someone you might not expect (like, say Mick Jagger) and a short commentary. I hope you'll join me.

Marley update... been moved to a sanctuary, and Bay County will revise their 'dangerous dog' codes.


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  1. God is indeed in control, Andrew, and I don't know how it all mysteriously works together for His and our good, but that's because He is God and I am not! I don't know why certain tragedies occur, but I trust that God is always in control and always working to redeem and refine what has turned horribly, horribly wrong. I see that even in your life, my friend. God is doing so much through and in spite of the ashes you now have to eat every day. We are blessed by it, my friend, and never take your struggle and perseverance on our behalf for granted!

    1. Indeed He is in control, Beth. His ways are not ours, and if I ran the universe I would shortly make a mess of it that even He would puzzle over!

      I would not trade the life I have now. It hurts, it's humiliating, but it's been turned over to the Almighty, and that last makes it all redeemed, and gives it a purpose.

      I face each day with heavy pain and a light heart.

      Thanks so much for being here, my friend!

  2. God have mercy on us and free us from those with pat answers and worn out cliches.

    More times than not, we'd do best just to be still. Listen. And be very much present for the one who is in pain ...

    1. Amen, Linda. The pat answers can be so beguiling, but as C.S. Lewis pointed out, NONE of Christianity is 'expected', and that's what makes it real.

      And yes, being still and listening is the best...and sometimes we will be surprised by those who are then willing to share their pain. Our stillness can be their safe place.

      So glad you're here!

  3. Wow! This is wise and profound. Coming from you, that's no surprise.

    Just imagine what our planet would be like if nobody ever died. We'd be squeezed together so tightly we couldn't even sit down, much less eat, drink, or anything else.

    1. Jan, thank you so much!

      And I love the question you raise...if no one ever died, we'd sure get over personal space issues. That's for sure!

  4. Amen. God is a parent. He will not allow pain or harm to His children if only for punishment or so.

    1. Lux, that is EXACTLY right. Perfect words...thank you so much for bringing them!