I wrote a post yesterday and discussed the fact that maybe sometimes God sends the hard thing in life. And I believe that. I believe that my experience with the guy behind me in traffic yesterday was a perspective shift. It was God’s guiding hand saying, “Maggie, look. You’re trying to grow in relationship with me, but there are some hard parts I still need to expose. You haven’t thought about your anger recently and I need us to talk about it.”
I truly believe that.
But I have a friend. Haha, yeah funny…”Oh, Maggie has one friend.” You’re hilarious. Can I talk now?
I have a friend, really it’s a family that is my friend so…I have a friends? I have a friendily? I like friendily. I have a friendily that makes me really think about everything that I say. Including things like, how maybe sometimes God sends the hard things.
This friendily is going through hell right now. Mom and dad are young, just had their second child, and their first child (two years old) is fighting a very aggressive form of brain cancer. And to be completely blunt, the fight is going well but the victory is not. For such a young child she has put up one HECK of a fight…that has had little affect on the prognosis. Because of these people, my people, that I love so much, I think very carefully about everything I say and everything I read and hear that other people say.
So…am I going to be the idiot, deviant, moron, demon person who writes about the hard things being from God and lump into that the incurable cancer of children? How about human trafficking? Lack of clean water in the world? Suicide?
The short answer is no. I work very hard not to be the idiot, deviant, moron demon person. I finished yesterday’s post by saying that I wasn’t entirely sure what the full realization of this idea was. I’m not sure what it looks like to say that sometimes God gives the hard things and the devil plays devil’s advocate. I believe that. I can’t believe that God gave this precious child cancer just to teach us all a lesson. If I’m being honest…I don’t want a God like that.
And I don’t serve a God like that.
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”
-James 1:17, ESV
Father of lights.
That’s my God. When Sarah sent me the most recent update on her sweet little Grace, I had a meltdown. I was in the storage room at work and I had a meltdown. I’m doing a Bible study on the book of Job and I took a page from Job’s book and just went deep honest with God real fast. I don’t remember where I started but I ended with, “How am I supposed to stand up and say God is good?”
If you’re familiar with the book of Job, Job throws question after accusatory question at God and finally God stands up and bats down every question Job has asked. And funnily enough, our unchanging God did the same with me. I felt so strongly in my heart Him responding in that moment, “Are you telling me nothing has been good?”
Cancer isn’t good. ETMR is the worst.
Grace is good. The tiny person and the huge gift. Grace’s smile is good. That time Sarah, Jared, and I fed Grace terrible baby food while smiling and talking in a happy baby voice about how gross it was, that was good. Grace’s first birthday party was good. Grace’s first steps were good. Holding Grace is good. Covering my face with Sesame Street stickers because it made her giggle was good. Her giggle is good. Pictures of her with her baby brother are good. Grace playing with her buddy Henry the dog, that’s good. Grace being the child of my favorite people and one of the children that taught me to love children…that’s perfect. Grace Mullis is perfect. Grace Mullis is from the Father of lights. And in the Father of lights there is no variation or shadow.
God can engineer a bad moment to teach you something hard (Matt. 26:75). He has promised to knit good things through the hard things of life (Rom. 8:28).
The Greek word translated “variation” means “mutation”. I love that. Basically, the last part of that verse reads like this: “the Father of lights who does not vary or mutate or become a shadowy copy of Himself.”
The bad moments build together to make a better experience. The terrible experiences, are still built out of a bajillion wonderful moments. Our God is good and perfect. What He does is good and perfect. And the rest we won’t understand until we talk to Him face to face.
For now, we’ve gotta
let it be.