Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Father Knows Best

"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning? (Psalm 22:1)

"Mom! Dad! Please make them stop!" Are there words any more heartbreaking than these when a child has to go through a painful test or procedure? We're supposed to be able to protect our children and take away their pain. Yet, there are times where we have to make them take the icky medicine, endure the painful exam or be subject to things that are downright tortuous because as parents, we know that a life-saving benefit will result.

Could this brave heartache be how the Father felt when He watched His Son suffer on the cross? Did He wish He could take Jesus' place rather than witness another minute of His anguish? Did He despise His position as a parent just as we often do, having to make such a tough decision in order to save life? Did He tearfully think, This isn't how it's supposed to be?

When we go through agony as parents, witnessing our children suffer, we share in the agony of God Himself. Our pain identifies us with our Heavenly Father. And if we share in His anguish, we can look forward in hope knowing that we'll share in His glory. (Romans 8:17)

Perhaps we can also get a better view of why the Father allows difficulties in our own lives when we see life through the lens of our own parenthood. He knows what's best for us in the big picture of life just as we know what's best for our own children. There may be times where we think the Lord is inhumane for what He allows us to be subject to. Our own children look at us in the same way, not understanding what an unpleasant or painful medical intervention is intended to produce.

If we have a God who so closely identifies with these sorrowful matters, why would we hesitate to flee to Him in our times of trouble? We can get alone, have that cleansing sob, and express our honest frustrations freely to our Creator. We can question Him and wrestle in anger with Him, and He loves us just the same.

It is essential in those times of poured-out-anguish to still acknowledge that God can be trusted. We may likely never know why we and those we love endure such suffering. Yet, we can rest assured that the One who voluntarily subjected Himself to our own brand of pain, surely has the best in mind for us and cares about our every sorrow. (Jeremiah 29:11) Watch for the small ways He send His comfort and compassion to you. And never doubt that your Maker knows what He's doing as He holds you in the palm of His hand.

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