I have a video of him clowning around in grade 6. Floppy hair, enormous grin. His arms are thrown over his friends’ shoulders. They are beautifully carefree.
Five years later, he committed suicide.
His parents and brothers were blindsided. They knew he had his ups and downs. But they had no idea he was struggling enough to end his own life. Now, as his father describes it, “Carnage has been set free on more hearts than I can count.” They face a lifetime of asking why?
Why didn’t he tell us just how badly he felt? Why did a loving God allow this? Why?
Are you asking why? Have you lost something or someone of utter importance to you? Do you wake up each day only to feel your heart implode again?
When we howl our grief in God’s direction, it sometimes feels like the only response is a mournful echo. Some questions aren’t answered this side of heaven. The Bible doesn’t spell out why God allows emotional carnage. Nor does God offer platitudes for our pain. He gives us something much better in response to our gutted lives and unanswered whys … he gives us himself.
Look—he’s there in the manger, sharing your mortality. He’s there on the cross, bearing your sins. He’s standing beside the empty tomb with his foot on death’s neck. He’s with you in your delight and in your desolation. Look—he’s there. He’s there because he promised.
“Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).