19 months 1 day. That’s how old my daughter is today. It’s also how old I was in 1987 when my world would be forever changed.
My family, at the time of my birth, was Mom, Dad, and two teenager brothers. I lived in this dynamic for 19 months and 1 day. Then my oldest brother was in a car accident with the youth minister he was helping move to the country outside small town Texas. Neither of them made it. The other driver, however, did.
So here I am reminiscing about that day that forever changed my family.
A toddler doesn’t understand much. I imagine that my daughter is a lot like I was on that day almost 28 years ago… inquisitive, kind, rough and tumble, really good sleeper… but I didn’t understand death then. I wanted to go with Trey.
I’d love to say I understand it now. I don’t.
Even though I’ve experienced my share of loss, I understand the questions that come with it. Every loss, every instance of grief, is different. Different questions arise each time. I’d be lying if I said I never seriously doubted or question God’s goodness. I’ve asked many times “Is God good?” after tragedies and losses. How can God be good when the Twin Towers fell killing almost three thousand? How can God be good if hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, tornadoes destroy, displace, kill? How is cancer, AIDS, diseases of any kind God’s goodness?
I’ve struggled through this. I don’t have a lot of answers. I understand a little better how Job who lost everything is able to say “The Lord gives and takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.” I understand how a great sinner like King David (adulterer, murderer, liar) can dance (naked in the streets) praising God. I understand that all things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose. I understand living in seasons of doubts and unanswered questions about God’s goodness and glory. I understand the thorn in the flesh that Paul experiences.
But I still find myself wondering at times is God really, truly good?
There is always going to be crap in this world. It’s a part of life. But just thinking about that, I realize, God knew that when He sent His only Son to die a gruesome, brutal death on a cross on a holy weekend those many many years ago. He also knew that Jesus wouldn’t stay dead. God was able to take dead, decaying flesh, make it new, just so you and I could have a chance to experience the fullness of His goodness, even though that means the crap isn’t gonna stop. He gave us all a chance to become perfect because He can’t/won’t commune with anything not perfect. The blood of Jesus makes us white as snow, our sins are forever erased and we get the chance to commune with God.
So while my daughter will only be this age for one day, I’m amazed at God’s goodness. One day, we will see my brother again. One day she’ll meet her grandma Debbie. One day, she too will know God is Good… even when we don’t understand, when we have no idea how… even then God is Good. He is Sovereign and He is Good.