Life Notes—January 12, 2012
“We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
It was my birthday and the second day of training for my new job inTopeka. Carrie and I were expecting our first child in two months and life was good. But that afternoon Carrie was admitted to the perinatal unit of theKansas Cityhospital where she worked because her blood pressure, normally low, was climbing. Just after midnight, Grace was delivered by emergency C-section, and both my wife and newborn baby were in intensive care units, critically ill. The timing could hardly have been worse. Among many questions, two really bothered me—why did this happen and why now?
On a summer afternoon in 2010 my brother called to say my ever health-conscious mother was in the Emergency Room at her local hospital. She had fallen and was confused and unable to verbalize what had happened. It was a crazy time at work, but I quickly finished a few things, grabbed a few others and headed fromTopekatoKansas City; a trip I would willingly make time for nearly every day over the next ten weeks. Again, two questions nagged me—why did this happen and why now?
It is a natural inclination to wonder why life takes negative turns, as well as why those negative turns happen when they do. These are not only unhelpful and often unanswerable questions, they can be detrimental. When life turns tragic is generally not the time to ask “Why?” It is the time to ask “What” and “Who,” as in “What should be done now?” and “Who can help with this challenge?” These questions lead to action and most challenges require some sort of action. Asking “Why” leads to speculation, which seldom solves problems; in fact, it can magnify the difficulties. One difficulty is faith-related. Asking “Why now?” implies someone, i.e., God or a devil, is purposefully inflicting this difficulty at this time in our lives. There is plenty of fear naturally inherent in these situations without inflicting additional fear from outside. Being human comes with a certain degree of frailty and risk, which must be accepted along with the wonder and beauty. And sometimes we are reminded that much of what normally seems important is not so important after all, and our priorities need to be rearranged. Ultimately, we need to roll up our sleeves and work with God to make the best of whatever situation faces us, hopefully with the support of family and friends. As Christians, we are not promised problem-free lives, only to never have to face our problems alone. We are also promised in the verse above that God will weave whatever happens into something good—maybe not what we envisioned, but something good.
Life worship begins at 10:00 AM in Brady Hall, downtown. Traditional worship is at 8:30 and 11:00 in the downtown sanctuary. West campus worship is at 9:00 and 11:00.
Come home to church this Sunday. Why not now?
Greg Hildenbrand, Life Music Coordinator