Yeah. So where am I going with this?
Right here. A friend recently had a health scare. In the super duper grand scheme of things, it wasn't anything extraordinarily dangerous. But she was, understandably, scared and worried. I had to 'Shut up, Sherry' my way out of muttering 'this is what my life was like every single day for 18 months; not fun, is it?' I'm not proud of that, but I'm human. Wonderfully, imperfectly human. And sometimes I think stuff; stuff that's not particularly helpful. But I wouldn't be real if I didn't admit to it. I wouldn't be very honest if I didn't cop to occasionally hearing about someone's day in the ER and thinking 'you think that was bad? I spent 18 months doing that, only with an inpatient. Oh, and after everything we went through to save his life, he died anyway'. And that's not because I'm a big jerk. It's because I desperately want someone, anyone to understand where I'm coming from. Where I've been. But anyway, I'm getting off-track again.
At the close of my friend's ordeal, when she discovered that things were okay after all, there was a lot of 'praise God!' and 'God is good' bandied about. And it made me think: is that true? Because if the outcome of our family's situation is any indicator of God's goodness --if God is only good and worthy of being called good in the face of good news-- then the answer is a resounding, gong-banging NO WAY, JOSE.
But of course that's not true. God is, by His own claims, good through and through. Evil sucks, but it's here to cause trouble and to bring pain. So my now long-winded challenge for all of you is to do what I have to do every single day: to find something to be grateful for, even though life is extraordinarily painful, hard and unfair. Even though my heart breaks when I see families with four children out and about. I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to approach those families and say 'oh, I have four kids, too! One of them's just... not here.' Yeah.
I could say a lot (lot, lot, lot) more, but I'll save it for another day.