Wellll, my husband and I found something out this week. We've been encouraging/prodding/chivvying Dale for months to do his daily exercises, work harder, try harder to walk properly. All that seems to do is make us hoarse and upset. Dale hasn't responded like we want him to; it seems like he's just given up. Tuesday night we found out why.
Dale told us he's mad at God. Downright angry, in fact. He said he's mad that God would let him drown, that God chose to let him live but not have a life. He feels cheated by God out of even a chance to grow up and have a normal life. He's grateful that God chose to spare his life and he's not upset that God chose to perform such a great miracle, but he wishes someone else could be the recipient because, to his mind, he got shortchanged. He didn't recover fully---although he's gone much farther than the doctors have said they've ever seen anyone with Dale's medical history go. He isn't able to plan for the future, like college or dating or becoming what he once dreamed of becoming. He can't do so much like go on some of our teen activities or go out with teen soulwinning or learn to drive a car or get a job because he isn't strong enough or steady enough to keep from falling or shaking---or seizing. He can't even walk to the bathroom any more by himself because he stopped trying to exercise his muscles and so lost a lot of strength that helped keep him steady. He doesn't understand why God allowed this to happen to him, and he doesn't want to even try to live the life God has set before him now until he gets some answers.
And I understand exactly what he's feeling. Because I agree.
WHY did God allow our son to drown? WHY didn't someone see him before it was too late? WHY did the other boy in distress that day get rescued but not Dale? WHY did it take so long to find his body? WHY couldn't the rescue workers get his heart going again quickly? WHY wouldn't his lungs work properly? WHY wasn't the youth group at a beach closer to home? WHY did God wait until we had lost all hope before He performed His miracle? WHY couldn't God just let Dale wake up......and sit up and stand up and walk around and be all normal again? WHY DID IT HAVE TO BE OUR SON???
I really hate that three-letter word. WHY rarely gets a real answer. A full explanation of events. Especially when we are addressing the question to God Almighty. So much of faith rests in that troubling, pain-filled, swirling gray pea-soup-thick fog of doubt and uncertainty that chokes our throat with the utterance of the word WHY. I have read the Bible over and over in futile efforts to determine WHY. I have prayed endlessly in vain attempts to glean more information as to the reason behind the tragedy. I've asked pointless, anguished questions like "Weren't we obeying enough?" and "Why would You do this when we were serving You?" and "Don't You love us, God?" I've listened to sermons and read prayer letters and perused magazine articles and done devotions and spent hours deep in conversation with my husband and family, all dedicated to this all-encompassing, emotion-filled, heart-wrenching agony of soul wrapped up in one single syllable---WHY?
I didn't find out the answer. God didn't magically reveal His will to me in a dream as in Bible times. He didn't have someone give me a word of knowledge. I didn't listen to a sermon and realize, "Oh, now I know!" I didn't spend hours in prayer and fasting and walk out of my prayer closet with the divine knowledge of God's purpose having been revealed to me. I'm still just as much in the dark as to God's ultimate plan for Dale and our family as I was, apparently, before Dale's accident. I still don't know WHY God allowed him to drown or WHY God didn't heal him fully right away or WHY God deliberately placed this burden on our family or WHY we can't make spur-of-the-moment plans but always have to accommodate Dale or WHY God thinks we have some kind of super strength to bear up under this hardship or WHY we have to wait until we get to Heaven to understand His plan.
I do know I trust God implicitly. I do know He embodies good, right, and truth. I do know He is the personification of love. I do know that, though I cannot see the future, He does. I do know that, though I may not have the strength to face the daily struggles, He does. I do know that, though I may not have the courage to face the vast unknown, He knows already. I do know that the One Who was willing to sacrifice His Son for my eternal soul would never maliciously harm me or my loved ones. I do know that the One Who cares about each common sparrow that may fall cares even more about my son when he falls. I do know that the One Who loves me so much He sent His Son to Calvary so that my eternal future would be secure would not willfully and cruelly withhold a possible future from my son without purpose. I do know that I TRUST GOD, no matter what.
Now to help Dale see that. I don't think he'll remain mad at God forever. But he's going to need a lot of prayer and guidance to find peace about this. Dale did lose a lot in the ocean that day: confidence, physical ability, brain capacity, a future brimming with possibilities. I don't want him to lose his God too. He's stated that he loves the God before the accident; now he just has to realize that the God after the accident is the same God. Please pray with us that Dale will understand---or, better yet, trust. Our God can do anything.....which means He can reach a teenage boy's heart and help him through a terrible conflict of soul. Our God can do it, and our son is worth it.
Ephesians 3:16 - 19 "That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God."