He stood there looking at me with shock and bewilderment. The blood had drained from his face and I could see the wheels of his mind churning as he was trying to decide how to tell me. Colton, had just discovered that he had several messages in his Facebook account, that had been sent to him by the UCLA Medical Center the night Grant was fighting for his life. In fact, we would discover later, that they had sent messages to me, and Grant’s sisters as well. They had been desperately trying to get ahold of us so we could be by Grant’s side…and we could have been there, had we gotten the messages.
Apparently, Facebook has a spam folder in the message section of all Facebook accounts. And for whatever reason, Facebook deemed all of these messages from the UCLA Medical Center, as spam. So none of us were ever notified that we had received any of these messages. They were still just sitting there waiting to be read.
Two steps forward, one step back. This journey of grieving with hope, fighting for joy, trusting God’s goodness. I get to a place where I feel like I am doing better, my faith is strong, I can see peace and joy in the distance, and then something happens and I take a step backwards. It was hard enough finding out that Grant’s phone was still working after his accident, and the police never called to tell us what had happened. But now this! The hospital, desperately trying to make contact, only to have all of us completely unaware that Grant was fighting for his life, dying all alone, while the rest of us went about our normal lives.
Why, Lord, why? Why did Grant have to die alone? We could have been there. We could have held him, prayed with him, lay with him. We could have kissed him and said good bye. Why? The relentless why, why, why’s bubbling back to the surface! They persist and try to dominate my days, my mind. Why did it have to be this way?
I know that there are countless things I will never know this side of eternity. And for most of my life I have been comfortable with the mysteries of God. But this present pain lures me to look for explanations. Sorrow is desperate and seeks to convince that answers will bring comfort and peace. But I know in my heart and soul explanation won’t remove any pain. And even if God were to answer all of my questions, those answers would only lead to more questions. No, sorrow is not relieved by answers. It is relieved by the presence and nearness of God.
God’s nearness and presence in my life will give me rest, it is for my good, it is a refuge, and it will prevent me from being permanently shaken, brokenhearted, and crushed in spirit.
Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Psalm 73:28 But as for me, the nearness of God is my good;I have made the Lord God my refuge
Psalm 16:8 I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
Psalm 34:18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.
Two steps forward, one step back…this grief walk with God. But given the choice, I would rather walk in God’s presence with Him near, with unanswered questions, than walk without Him, with all of the answers.