And when I think that God, His Son not sparing,Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing,He bled and died to take away my sin.
But I keep coming back to "You allowed my children to die."
I believe the truth of the Bible. I have seen redemption and provision and lovingkindness in my life. I have seen God move powerfully in myself and the people around me. I do not doubt that God exists and that He is active and sovereign in our world. I believe He is a good God who does not change and works miracles even today.
But He let my children die.
So I've been struggling with how to reconcile these things. To me, they are mutually exclusive. I've been going round and round in circles on this and then lay it aside for a while, trusting there's a good answer somewhere.
And then during worship at church last night, we sang the wonderful old hymn "How Great Thou Art." When we got to the verse I quoted above, my question was answered. Not with the answer I wanted, but an answer nonetheless: I let my Son die too.
Yes, I've heard it before, and read it before, but it never sank in until last night. I was raised in Christianity and the idea of Jesus going to the cross to die has been a concept that I have really taken for granted up until now. After all, He was God, right? It somehow didn't seem to me that it would be that hard because He was divine, the Son of God. Then I read The Shack recently and the concept of Jesus being fully human and fully divine was blown wide open for me. He was fully human, just as we are and beloved by God because of the perfect, intimate, nature of their relationship.
And He let Him die, too. I can relate to that.
Maybe I need a new concept of what death means. As a human, just before His execution, Jesus agonized over the death He was going to face. Not because of the torturous way he was going to die, but because of the separation from His Father He would have to endure. Maybe there is a thing worse than death. Maybe it's living separate from God.